Suspect in TV Station Bomb Hoax has Mental Health Issues

No charges will be filed and police consider the case closed

By Tristan Scott

BILLINGS — Two suspicious devices left outside a Montana television station, prompting a response from the Billings bomb squad, were determined to be homemade light sabers left for safekeeping by a man with mental health issues.

Officers located the 40-year-old man on Tuesday and took him to Billings Clinic for treatment.

Lt. Brandon Wooley said no charges will be filed and police consider the case closed.

One of the devices dropped off Monday evening by a man who said “this is for you” was wrapped in electrical tape and had wires and what looked like batteries and a timer, KTVQ-TV News Director Jon Stepanek said. A similar device was in a plastic tote bag.

The bomb squad destroyed them with a blast of high pressure water. No explosives were involved.

Police said the man told them he was a Star Wars fan, the items were homemade light sabers and he left them at the station because there were cameras there and he felt it would be safe. Police say the man was the victim of a recent theft and didn’t intend to cause alarm.

Wooley said the suspicious objects were made with tape, wires and switches and were assembled in a manner that caused them to look like an improvised explosive device.

The items were found on the same day that a Florida man appeared in federal court on charges that he mailed pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump.

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