Nacogdoches teen arrested for explosive devices

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The sound was loud of enough to get Nacogdoches resident Linda Boozer outside to check on things.

"There was a vibration with it. Yes, a vibration. I was watching TV last night, I heard one more. I mean it just made me startle. It was really that loud," said Boozer.

Even so, Boozer dismissed the sounds for a nearby train. Some of her neighbors didn't. Complainants within a two mile radius of Woodcreek Drive reported hearing gunshots or small explosions.

Soon afterwards, police spotted john Otis Jr., 18, leaving some nearby woods. "He had a backpack and in that backpack they discovered several, what appeared to be, improvised explosive devices," said Sgt. Greg Sowell with the Nacogdoches Police Department.

Otis was questioned for hours and then arrested for possessing a prohibited weapon. Federal investigators and a Louisiana bomb disposal unit were called.

"And right before midnight they did do a controlled detonation," said Sowell.

Officers say Otis learned how to make IED's off the Internet. "This young man and many others probably don't realize the danger," said Assistant Police Chief Mike Kelly with the Nacogdoches Police Department.

A simple online search opens up all sorts of You Tube demonstrations. "These chemical components are unstable," Kelly warned.

All this experimentation with deadly components, was going on near a street where small children play.

"The idea a young man would want to go out and experiment with that for whatever reason, whether it's curiosity or not good intentions, it's kinda scary," said Boozer.

It's believed Otis had been making the homemade bombs for awhile. Similar noise complaints were made several months ago. Otis is out on bond.

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