Thursday 1 November 2012

Hunt for man who 'detonated pipe bombs in homes of ex-girlfriend and two police officers'

A man planted homemade pipe bombs in the homes of his ex-girlfriend and two police officers in Virginia and detonated them when he expected his targets to be in bed. 
Federal agents, state troopers and local police are now desperately hunting for Laurence Alan Stewart, the 25-year-old suspect who attended Temple University and is a law school dropout. 
The attacks began with a 4am explosion on Tuesday in Fredericksburg, Virginia, at the home of Stewart’s ex-girlfriend.
The woman was home with her dog when the bomb when off, but was not injured.
The explosion ripped through three rooms, blew out the windows and blasted a hole in the roof, the Stafford County Sun reports.
Stewart then allegedly drove to the home of a Stafford County sheriff’s deputy and threw a bomb through the window at 4.30am. It exploded inside, but did little damage, police say.
An hour and a half later, a bomb exploded outside the back bedroom of a second sheriff’s deputy’s house. Only minor damage was reported to the property. No one was injured in any of the attacks.
Stewart remains at large and police are calling him ‘armed and very dangerous.
This man is a serious danger and threat to society,’ Stafford County Sheriff Charles E. Jett said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Earlier in the month, the sheriff’s office sought the public’s assistance in helping to locate Stewart, who was charged with indecent exposure, obscene sexual display and violation of a protective order.
Authorities said he was reported to have exposed himself to two different individuals while sitting in his car at the Stafford Marketplace in North Stafford in July and August.
On Wednesday, authorities said the detective and deputy sheriff involved in that case were those targeted by the explosives.
‘What is extremely difficult for us is when we see a threat against a public servant,’ said Rich Marianos, special agent in charge of the Washington office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
‘These people give their lives for the community, and to be terrorized by this individual, doesn’t sit well with any of us.’
Marianos said the federal agency said it has about 50 agents in the Virginia area working on the case, along with agents in Philadelphia, Ohio and Indiana.
The sheriff’s office said Stewart grew up in Philadelphia, attended Temple University and some law school in North Carolina. His parents and his ex-girlfriend have connections in Stafford County

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