Pop bottle explosions could lead to criminal charges

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

NWCN.com

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 24 at 7:36 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The student who confessed to planting pop bottle explosives inside Ferris High School could face school, financial and criminal punishments.

The Ferris student confessed Wednesday. Fire investigators said he admitted to planting two explosive pop bottles inside the school. The explosions injured one custodian, who suffered a chemical burn, and forced students to evacuate.

“That's a significant threat that shouldn't be happening in our community,” said Assistant Fire Chief Brian Shaffaer.

The teenager did not attend class on Thursday according to Spokane Public School District leaders. Authorities said he may not return to class until the investigation is complete. However, he is not in custody.

The student does not face criminal charges yet. Investigators must forward the case to the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office before charges can be filed. The charges could range from second degree assault to placement of an explosive device. Prosecutors told KREM 2 News that the exact charges depend on which chemicals the student used in the pop bottles. Injuries could also factor into potential charges.

The teenager might also be forced to pay restitution according to authorities. Investigators estimated that the school search and evacuation cost thousands of dollars. However, they described the teenager and his family as cooperative during his confession.

“It's great to hear he's remorseful,” said Shaffaer “but he tied up a lot of people yesterday and scared a lot of kids.”

The teenager faces trouble at school too. School district leaders said the punishment ranges from suspension to indefinite expulsion.

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