Students detonate bottle bomb in Carmel Valley

By Karen Billing

Three Carmel Valley Middle School students allegedly set off a homemade bottle bomb near the Boys & Girls Club located next door to the school before school started on Monday, April 22.

As the school had a late-start day, one seventh grader and two eighth graders went to the store to purchase the supplies and the over-pressure device they made went off around 10 a.m., according to Maurice Luque, San Diego Fire Department spokesman.

“This is a stupid thing to be doing anytime but especially now when there is a heightened sense of awareness in light of the Boston bombing,” Luque said.

No one was injured in the incident. The boys were detained after an unrelated fight occurred on campus later in the day and one of the students involved told school officials about the bomb going off and named the students involved.

The police and the fire department’s Metro Arson Strike Team (MAST) were called in to investigate. The investigators decided to be lenient on this case, Luque said, but he stressed that setting off such a device is illegal and could have serious consequences.

“I encourage their parents to impress on them the seriousness of what they did and how lucky they are that they didn’t go into juvenile hall and weren’t prosecuted on this which they could have been,” Luque said.

In 2009, an 18-year-old student who set off five bottle bombs at San Ysidro High was charged with misdemeanor charges of possession of a destructive device and possession of materials to make a destructive device. He spent five days in jail and was sentenced to three years probation, losing a scholarship to the Air Force Academy.

“It’s just not an intelligent thing to be doing,” Luque said.

Luque said kids should make good choices and do the right thing but said parents need to be supervising how their kids are spending their idle time, how they’re spending their money and what they’re looking at online.