STOCKTON (CBS13) — Authorities have arrested a man after an explosive went off in his hand, prompting a search of a Stockton home that forced a neighborhood to be evacuated earlier this week.Cooling Centers Open In Sacramento Region This Week
On Wednesday, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home along Bristol Avenue after some called 911 asking for an ambulance.
Deputies discovered that a man was working on some sort of destructive device when it exploded in his hand. Authorities have identified that man as 45-year-old Michael Harper.
In the process of removing devices pic.twitter.com/vQYveqvSb3
— San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office (@SJSheriff) February 10, 2021
“He’s not all that good at what he does if he’s blowing himself up,” said former FBI agent Rick Smith.
Smith said despite the arrest, the police still have work to do.
“You’ll want to find out if he had any confederates, so you don’t have a bigger problem,” he said.
It’s something neighbors are concerned about.
“This is where we live and we want to be safe,” said Gabriel Ramirez, of Stockton.READ MORE: East Sacramento Neighborhood Power Turned Off For Maintenance Despite Hot Day
Ramirez said Harper lives right across from his mother and is relieved police stepped in before it got worse.
“They made sure the public was safe and the community was safe,” he said.
Surrounding neighbors were told to evacuate as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team went to investigate. At least eight homemade explosives were then found in the home, authorities say. The devices were safely dealt with by early Wednesday evening.
The devices appeared to be homemade pipe bombs and fireworks, the sheriff’s office said.
Harper underwent surgery and was released from the hospital on Thursday, but has since been arrested and booked into San Joaquin County Jail.
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Harper is facing several counts of reckless possession of a destructive device, as well as charges of elder abuse.
We asked Smith if making explosives is a normal hobby to have.
“There’s very few people that do it just for the heck of it,” he said. “Usually if it was an accident, the person would identify what he was doing, that it was a mistake.”
The sheriff’s office said he didn’t admit to that at all and immediately asked for an attorney.MORE NEWS: Newsom Declares State Of Emergency, Grid Operator Urges Power Conservation For Second Day Amid High Heat
“The police will look at this as suspicious,” Smith said. “There must be some other reason or motivation or goal in making the bomb.”