Police: Teens made bombs, threw them at homes in Apple Valley, Lakeville
Four local teens are accused of making homemade bombs and detonating them outside residences in Apple Valley and Lakeville earlier this year.
Eric Daniel Johnson, 18, of Lakeville, told police that he and three friends had each purchased a different component needed to make the explosive devices, which included tin foil, tonic water, bathroom cleaner and fruit punch.
Johnson has been charged with a felony-level explosives crime. His three friends – a 16-year-old male and two 17-year-old males, whom prosecutors did not identify because they’re under 18 – were also charged with bomb-related crimes.
The criminal charges were filed after police responded to reports of explosions the night of March 23.
According to the complaint, at about 10 p.m. that night Lakeville police were called to a home on the 16000 block of Grinnell Avenue, where they found a melted plastic bottle and a liquid chemical. Police also received a report of another explosive device detonated outside a home on the 16000 block of Griffin Lane in Lakeville.
Then, at 10:30 p.m., Apple Valley police were called to the a home on the 1000 block of Whitney Lane on a report of two bombs detonated in a front yard. A witness provided officers with a description of the suspects’ vehicle and other information that led to identification of Johnson as one of the suspects.
Police went to Johnson’s residence and spoke with the four teens.
Johnson told an officer he’d been the driver that evening, the complaint said. He turned over the remaining bomb-making supplies to police, which included six bottles of tonic water and two rolls of tin foil.
One of the suspects admitted throwing more than five of the bombs at the three homes, which were the homes of friends or acquaintances of the suspects.
Another suspect told police that the bomb-throwing spree was done “as a joke” and that the four suspects had been “just goofing around,” according to the complaint.
Johnson, whose court date is July 30, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine if convicted of the explosives violation.
One of the 17-year-old males has already pleaded guilty to the charge, and the other two teens are scheduled to appear in court July 31.