(Update): Bottle bombs lead to 3 arrests in Atlantic


January 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

(This is an update to our earlier, posted story)

Three Atlantic teens were arrested Wednesday night for using and possessing homemade explosive devices, after police responded to a report of “shots fired.” Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green said the call about activity in the 300 block of Maple Street came in at around 9:10-p.m. Green says the officers arriving also heard what sounded like gun shots, and observed  individuals in the second story of an apartment looking out the window. Green says an investigation determined the individuals were allegedly throwing pop bottle bombs outside from the window to the ground and watching them blow up.”

The officers who arrived and heard the loud noises had their guns drawn, but no shots were fired from their weapons. Soon after the individuals were questioned, officers discovered two unexploded bottle bombs in the yard. The Iowa State Patrol responded and disabled the devices by firing rubber bullets at them to relieve the pressure inside the bottles. He says rubber bullets are generally used for riot control and while not intended to be lethal, if fired at a person’s head, they can become lethal.

Green says that would explain why people thought they heard two different sets of gunshots. One was the bottle bombs going-off, the other was the sound of rubber bullets being fired. Taken into custody following the investigation, was 19-year old Daylan Kleen, 17-year old Bryce Gehling, and 17-year old Jeremy Stone, all of Atlantic.  All three were charged with Reckless use of Fire or an Explosive Device (a Serious Misdemeanor), Unauthorized Possession of Weapons/Homemade explosive (a Class D felony), and Using Explosives with the Intent to Commit a Public Offense (a Class C felony). Kleen was booked into the Cass County Jail, while Gehling and Stone were later released to the custody of their parents, pending an appearance in juvenile court.

Chief Green says in the early 1990’s kids were blowing up mailboxes with bottle bombs comprised of common household chemicals, and the stiffer charges are intended to demonstrate that type of activity will not be tolerated again.