The man accused of placing at least three dry ice explosive devices around LAX did it out of “curiosity,” police said at a news conference today.
That doesn't mean that putting dry ice in a bottle and screwing the lid on tight can't cause death or serious injury, however. In fact, LAPD bomb squad Det. Paul Robi said that just such mayhem has happened in the city before:
In 1992, the detective said, a liquor store operator was cleaning up when he saw a glass bottle, picked it up, and it exploded. The fragments “slit his throat,” Robi said, and “he bled to death.”
In 2002 a woman picked up a bottle at a gas station convenience store, he said. It exploded and “lacerated her hand:”
It has in fact killed and injured citizens in our city.
Suspect Dicarlo Bennett, a 28-year-old who works for a contractor at the airport, was arrested yesterday in Hawthorne and was being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
A District Attorney's spokeswoman told us a case would likely be filed tomorrow.
LAPD Lt. John Carl told reporters that Bennett allegedly acknowledged to cops what he had done. The lieutenant called it a “prank” undertaken partly out of curiosity:
A person familiar with the device wanted to experience constructing it and detonating it.
Police said there were four bottles involved but that only three were actual “devices.” One exploded Sunday night and another was “expanding” when an employee spotted it in a restricted area and alerted authorities Monday night, according to the LAPD.
It is now believed that all of the devices were placed Sunday, police said.
The explosion that night happened in front of witnesses in an employee's only restroom that is part of the Tom Bradley Terminal, according to the LAPD. No one was injured.
But as Deputy Chief Michael P. Downing told reporters:
We took this very seriously. It can do harm and death in the right circumstances.