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Mom Arrested After Son Makes Dry Ice "Bombs" 571

Posted by samzenpus
from the mr.-terrorist-wizard dept.
formfeed writes "Police were called to a house in Omaha where a 14-year-old made some 'dry ice bombs' (dry ice in soda bottles). Since his mom knew about it, she is now facing felony charges for child endangment and possession of a destructive device. From the article: 'Assistant Douglas County Attorney Eric Wells said the boy admitted to making the bomb and that his mother knew he was doing so. The boy was set to appear Tuesday afternoon in juvenile court, accused of possessing a destructive device.'" She's lucky they didn't find the baking soda volcano in the basement.
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Mom Arrested After Son Makes Dry Ice "Bombs"

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  • Sounds familiar. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Leebert (1694) * on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:41AM (#32756238)

    This lets me tell one of my favorite stories (which probably isn't all that funny.)

    I have a friend who is a physicist. He was hanging around with his brother, who worked at a bookstore. They were doing essentially the same thing, but with liquid nitrogen, behind the store. After one particularly loud bottle explosion, they went back into the store, only to hear a loud pounding on the door shortly thereafter.

    Opening the door, they were faced with a Baltimore County police officer, who demanded an explanation. My friend started to explain: "Oh, it's OK Officer, I'm a physicist..." As if that explained everything. Which, to be honest, probably does.

    I make that joke more often than you could imagine at the physicists at work.

    But in all seriousness, this continues what I've been calling the "war on curiosity". Recently, I accidentally picked a flight that had a stopover (that's what I get for clicking through the website too fast.) So while I was bored and waiting on the plane, I wandered up next to the front row of seats and peered into the cockpit. I was there for a minute or so, until the flight attendant came up in a fairly huffy attitude, and told me that I couldn't congregate in the front of the plane. Which was on the ground. With the engine shut off. With the wheels chocked. And the pilot sitting in his seat.

    I'm afraid anymore to walk to the end of the platform and look down the subway tunnels. I'm afraid to take pictures of bridges. I'm afraid to be just plain curious, because it's apparently abnormal and suspicous. It's getting ridiculous. And it's going to come back and bite us in the butt.

    • by Spad (470073) <slashdotNO@SPAMspad.co.uk> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:44AM (#32756288) Homepage

      I didn't know you could congregate on your own...

      • by xaxa (988988) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:10AM (#32756648)

        "An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one." — George Mikes [wikiquote.org].

        I reckon an Ankh-Morporkian can congregate alone, but my national stereotypes aren't up to picking a real nationality for it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by TomRC (231027)

          Excellent idea. Let's start a movement to rename it the "United States of Ankh-Morpork". Maybe that would wake a few people up...

          "I'm to be an Ankhmorporkian, where at least I'm told I'm free..."

    • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:46AM (#32756324) Journal

      I'm afraid anymore to walk to the end of the platform and look down the subway tunnels. I'm afraid to take pictures of bridges. I'm afraid to be just plain curious, because it's apparently abnormal and suspicous. It's getting ridiculous. And it's going to come back and bite us in the butt.

      You say this as if it is an unintended, rather than intended, consequence of how our society is organized.

      • Its going to bite even the overlords in the ass too. An ebbing tide lowers all boats.

        • Today's overlords don't really have much choice. The machine [zhibit.org] was built in the beginning of the 20th century and there's probably no way to shut it down until events run their course.

    • by Skater (41976) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:54AM (#32756420) Homepage Journal

      I'm afraid anymore to walk to the end of the platform and look down the subway tunnels. I'm afraid to take pictures of bridges. I'm afraid to be just plain curious, because it's apparently abnormal and suspicous. It's getting ridiculous. And it's going to come back and bite us in the butt.

      As a railfan, I hesitate to take pictures of trains outside museums for similar reasons. Plenty have been accosted or detained for doing nothing more than taking pictures of trains from passenger platforms and similar places, and Amtrak put out a policy recently that makes little sense. Last summer I took a picture of a train that I'd just ridden for two hours (not Amtrak), and I actually felt nervous about it for a moment afterward. I've taken some pictures inside DC's Metro stations from time to time without a problem, but the thought of having the police show up crosses my mind every time I do it.

      Of course the solution is to take more pictures of trains so that feeling goes away. But that just increases the odds I'll get some attention from the police over it.

      • Most likely you are on a list already.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Skater (41976)
          If I'm on a list for occasionally taking pics of trains, then I'm on plenty of other lists, too... Oh well. It's not the lists that bothers me. It's the risk of getting arrested or something.

          Like someone else said most likely it wouldn't get that far - I'm a reasonable person. My point was more about the culture that has been created.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Leebert (1694) *

        Plenty have been accosted or detained for doing nothing more than taking pictures of trains from passenger platforms and similar places

        I feel your pain... I'm an aviation geek, and I'm waiting for the day I get shot for standing on the top floor of the BWI parking garage with my scanner listening to ATC while watching departures from RWY 15-R.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by xaxa (988988)

        Just take the photo and don't worry about it. Even if you're stopped, offering to delete the photograph should presumably satisfy most security/police, and while it's not solving the problem you'll at least have photographs for the 99.9% of times you're not stopped.

        • Re:Sounds familiar. (Score:5, Informative)

          by interiot (50685) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:49AM (#32757260) Homepage

          And if the cops ask you to delete photos, play along, because recovering the deleted photographs is trivial compared to what can happen when arguing with a cop.

          After the cop leaves, swap out the memory card for another. Make sure you set the card aside and don't take any more pictures on it, because taking new pictures could potentially overwrite some of the deleted data. When you get home, download and run PhotoRec [cgsecurity.org] (it's GPL/open source, available on multiple platforms, and runs almost without regard to what the underlying filesystem is [wikipedia.org]).

          • by ktappe (747125) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:27PM (#32759752)

            And if the cops ask you to delete photos, play along, because recovering the deleted photographs is trivial compared to what can happen when arguing with a cop.

            Great practical advice. However, it's horrible civil disobedience advice. By complying with the officer's illegal demand, you're empowering him to make the same demand of other photographers who might not be as technically adept and who really will lose their photos. A bully appeased is a bully emboldened.

        • Re:Sounds familiar. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by b0bby (201198) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:50AM (#32757276) Homepage

          Don't delete any photos. Get a copy of The Photographer's Right from http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm [krages.com], and stick it in your camera bag if you're worried. Just because some rentacop has an attitude doesn't mean you need to change your behavior.

          • by Rene S. Hollan (1943) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @03:38PM (#32762314)

            All good in theory. However, all it takes to arrest you is "probable cause", and to hold you is a judge upholding a finding of "probable cause".

            You will likely be arrested, for being difficult, argumentative, and most importantly, acting suspiciously around a sensitive area.

            Either you have an attorney, which will cost you significant $$$, or you will be assigned a public defender, who will, in 95% of the cases stipulate (that is, agree), to probable cause. Bail will be set (very high, if your address can not be immediately verified, and this can take a few days), or not (if you are a suspected terrorist), and if you can not pay, you will be stuck in jail. If you can, you can expect to be called before the court and formally charged and asked to enter a plea within two weeks. More $$$ spent on a lawyer.

            Now, if the case is really weak, the district attorney might decide to drop it, but they are generally evaluated and rewarded for being "tough on crime", especially terrorism, so expect the I-dotting and T-crossing of formal charges and a criminal trial. If the DA thinks the case is weak, you might be offered a plea bargain for something like "disorderly conduct", placed on probation, and fined a few hundred or thousand dollars. The third option, is that charges will not be formally pressed, but can be pending until the statute of limitations runs out. 97% of criminal cases never go to trial: many are plea-bargained out.

            So, you decide to stand for your principles and face trial. Good for you! This will cost you plenty. Simply being arrested might have gotten you fired, particularly in an "at-will" employment state.

            The chances are pretty good that your defense will stand up. But, expect it to be very expensive. Justice does not come cheap, unfortunately.

            And, yes, this can have a very chilling effect on lawful public actions. In fact, people who fight for civil rights are USED to being impoverished, unemployed, and spending significant lengths of time in jail.

            How do I know? I went down this road after being arrested (and never formally charged) with felony child abuse for preventing my young son from not running into the middle of a busy highway. See, in his struggle, he managed to get a clothing abrasion mark on himself. I chose to plead guilty to disorderly conduct to FORCE (well, encourage: no DA can turn down the chance for another conviction in their notch) the DA to drop the charges rather than wait out the statute of limitations (and technically, I WAS guilty of disorderly conduct: acting in a manner (possibly trying to kidnap a child) that might incite someone to assault me (to "save" said child). Ironically, protecting him from himself would be an affirmative defense against assault, but would not be against DC.).

            Further, I reasoned that (a) charges could be laid any time within the statute of limitations, (b) my daughter had desired to leave her mother and live with me and pending felony assault charges would do me no good in that case, and (c) spending the money on a legal defense would arguably not be in the best interest of my children and therefore be used as evidence to charge me with neglect and abuse. The laws being what they are, if you have kids, the state owns you (and that's a subject for another rant).

            Now, if I was responsible for no one but myself, then Hell, f***ing yeah! Bring it on, a**holes!, and spend a lot of money and risk 10 to 20 in jail. I would think, however, that maybe one in a hundred are in a position where they are not responsible for the welfare of others, and of those, one in a thousand would risk incarceration to fight for their principles. Those of us who have responsibilities, or are otherwise cowardly in this regard, should therefore, vocally and peacefully support those who DO stand up for principle.

      • by Bayoudegradeable (1003768) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:41AM (#32757142)
        A buddy of mine and I were doing the same dry ice thing a few years back. Just good old curiosity. What the heck is gonna happen if we drop dry ice, water and seal up the two liter? Honestly, it's a MUCH bigger bang than I would have thought. The top and fragments were sent all over the driveway. So after the third ones the neighbors called, and we realized it was time to stop : ) I do remember thinking that something like this, packed with the wrong stuff inside could cause some trouble. I guess, in a strict sense, it is a bomb after all. Side note... taking pictures of oil refineries, oil pipelines in south Louisiana (pre-spill, mind you, post 9/11) will get you harassed quickly by local law enforcement. I remember telling one officer, "You know, this used to be a free country." Instead of getting irate he began the "hey look, just doing my job" routine. He then went on to talk about all the press restrictions and lock-down procedures they have if an accident or attack were ever to happen at an oil processing facility. It's sad how much money, effort and energy is wasted on keeping us "safe" from terror.... I mean think about it; what did OBL and company spend in bringing down the twin towers? What have we spent since? What have we "gained" in the war of terror? In terms of dollars to outcome; we have lost. Terribly.
      • Re:Sounds familiar. (Score:5, Informative)

        by canajin56 (660655) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:01AM (#32757488)
        Yeah, the Amtrack Private Police Force reacts very violently to photography. The CEO tried to say it was a mistake, and that photography is allowed. The Commander in Chief of their private forces, however, cut him and told everybody he is wrong, it's a crime to photograph Amtrack property and you WILL go to Amtrack's prison. (And yes, Amtrack has it's own private police force, and yes they are deputized, and yes the corporation can enact it's own laws for it's forces to enforce).
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by nopainogain (1091795)
      I'm gonna teeter between devils advocate and sound rationalist. We live in weird times my friend. There are people out there who arent just trying to see how high mentos shoot the cola. I speculate that even recreational fireworks will be much more legislated in the near term. Sadly, shows like mythbusters that entertain and amuse with fun examples of destructive forces are becoming ground for research material. I love watching them blow crap up in safe testing ground but someone somewhere is taking detaile
      • by adonoman (624929) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:48AM (#32757234)

        wierd times

        WTF? It's weird only in that everyone is freaked out all the time. The risk of anything is way lower these days - there's a reason our life expectancy is cracking 80, and it's not just medical advances. It's not like crazies are a new thing - people have been trying to blow things up [wikipedia.org] since gunpowder was invented. They just didn't have 24-hour news to whip us all up into a panic. Things you really should be worried about - driving accidents, falling, accidental poisoning, work related injuries, getting hit by a car, drowning, seasonal flu, fatal hernia, accidental gunshot, electrocution, law enforcement shooting you. All of which are more common preventable causes of death in the last 20 years than dying from a terrorist explosion (including the 9/11 deaths).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kc8apf (89233)

        People who will try to cause fear and injury aren't new. There hasn't been any proof that all this legislation and fear mongering around curiosity has actually made us any safer. We live in an inherently dangerous world. It's time to realize that we can't baby-proof it. Then we can get back to doing research, having odd hobbies, and being generally curious without fear of being accosted.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bdenton42 (1313735)
        Even Mythbusters is censoring themselves. They were mixing up some kind of explosive the other day and Adam said "We're going to make *bleep* by mixing *bleep* with *bleep*". It's sad really.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mal-2 (675116)

          This is because not telling you how to do it is simpler, faster, and incurs less liability than having to explain how to do it RIGHT. There's more to making explosives than just the chemicals that go into them.

          They know full well that if you really want to do it yourself, the information is out there. They just don't want the remaining fingers pointed at THEM when it blows up in someone's hand.

          Mal-2

    • Soccer Ball (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Tisha_AH (600987) <Tisha.Hayes@gmail.com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:17AM (#32756740) Journal

      We did something similar in our teen years while working at a recreation center with a soccer ball.

      Having found a spare soccer ball and with one of those desktop mounted air pumps we would put an increasing amount of pressure into the soccer ball and then the guys would bounce the thing around the gym. This went in stages, a little more pressure, the guys would go back to kicking the ball around the building, then back for more air pressure...

      After seven or eight of these cycles of increasing pressure in the soccer ball it took on a distinct metallic sound when bouncing. The soccer ball had about 115 PSI in it and the guys decided to kick it around the hallway that connected several of the rooms in the recreation center. I was watching the fun and one of the guys kicked the ball and it hit the edge of a table and was bouncing up and down on top of the table. From 25 feet away I could hear brittle cracking sounds coming from the ball... At the last instant I have the picture of one of the guys running away from the ball with a look of fear on his face. Right at that moment the ball exploded like a bomb.

      The sound of the explosion just left my ears with a buzzy, ringing sound as the guys are laughing their asses off. Quickly they grabbed all of the soccer ball shrapnel and hid it right as the senior citizens group was pouring out of their meeting room. There were retirees who must have served in WW II who were looking for the 250 pound bomb crater or airplane crash, asking furious questions about where the bomb went off.

      To their credit, the guys just looked quizzically at the senior citizens and said "what noise?".

      Doing a post mortem on the soccer ball one of the sewn panels failed and ejected the air bladder from the ball. The soccer ball skin was turned inside out. There were tiny little shards of rubber ball liner everywhere.

      Kids do stupid stuff. Outlaw CO2 (since it is a greenhouse gas and eeevil too). Adults will not stop the never-ending quest by kids for things that go BOOM!

    • by I'm not really here (1304615) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:18AM (#32756760)

      Seriously, this type of slapdown on curiosity, creativity, and exploration makes me want to cry. It reminds me of the fall of the galactic empire in Asimov's Foundation series - a degredation of the desire to learn new things... People don't want children to dream and invent, they want them to memorize, regurgitate, and keep the status quo.
       
      An example of the insanity: I love model rocketry. I can build small rockets with no one looking at me sideways (but when I move up to the C or D engines, and buy in large quantity, I start to get odd looks), but I don't want to build small rockets. I want to build large rockets, with radio controlled fins, a wireless video feed, and much stronger engines (either solid state or even move into simple liquid fuels). Now if I were interested in this say 50 years back, this would be odd, but not unheard of, and certainly not slapped down by local law enforcement. In today's age, if I started messing with liquid fuels, or built rockets over 6 feet tall, I would likely get harassed by local law enforcement (or more likely my neighbors would call for them), assuming I could even get the proper permits to be allowed to build the thing... permits to build something with my own two hands and then test it out on my friend's private property (a farm)? CRAZY, and wrong.
       
      I hope we get out of this funk and get some new chemistry and engineering excitement back into our children. Sigh.

      • Re:Sounds familiar. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Chris Tucker (302549) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @01:11PM (#32759468) Homepage

        Large Dangerous Rocket Ships [discovery.com]

        Science Channel (USA) July 5th, 9 PM eastern time.

        The (legendary) Rocket Manual For Amateurs [4shared.com] is online as a PDF.

        What the heck, grab a PDF of the LONG out of print Golden Book of Chemistry [about.com] while you're at it.

        Hey, kids! Set up your OWN chemistry lab bench and do real chemical experiments.

        Like safely generating Chlorine gas.

        Science Is FUN!

  • Just noisy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Titan1080 (1328519) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:41AM (#32756244)
    We used to have a lot of fun with these in high school. We would put them under the bleachers during high school football games. Harmless fun... Mostly...
  • The cops are onto them.

  • by Becausegodhasmademe (861067) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:43AM (#32756278)

    I reckon about 90% of all Slashdotters made/did way more dangerous things when they were younger. I certainly did and I look forward to doing them with my kids too! It's like a ritual part of childhood in my family!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by singingjim1 (1070652)
      potato and tennis ball guns made from tennis ball cans (they used to be metal) and duct tape, and using lighter fluid to launch projectiles and friggin long way. We were 12!
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I had a friend whose parents had an acetylene torch, and we would fill balloons full of a mixture of acetylene and pure oxygen and set them off with fuses of nothing more than newspaper. We accidentally (yes, accidentally) set off like three of them at once and the concussion wave broke an empty fish tank that was nearby (and we could barely hear anything for hours... it'll probably give me tinnitus when I'm older...).

        It was awesome, but then my friend lived in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nothing
    • by somaTh (1154199)

      On a similar line to the dry ice - The Works (TM) and aluminum foil.

      Is it illegal to make/possess thermite at home? I mean, it's not an explosive, even by this cop's definition.

    • by Comen (321331)

      I got kicked out of 11th grade for the year, and had to go to a "excluded student school" for that year cause I made a device that would shock people out of a camera flash. it was total BS.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:46AM (#32757212) Journal

      For chemistry open days at school, we used to run a series of demos. One of the things I would do was chill a boiling tube and put a tiny bit of dry ice in the bottom. I'd then put the cork on and give it to someone in the audience to hold, telling them to keep it held straight and that I'd need it for a demo a bit later. Typically, about a minute later there's be a very loud bang as the heat from their hand caused the carbon dioxide to expand enough to force the bung out at high speed. It sometimes ricochetted and hit one of the other people in the audience.

      We also discovered that dipping your hand in ether and lighting it kept the flames far enough away from you that it didn't hurt (due to the fact that it's only the gas that's burning, and it's only burning when it is diluted enough that it can get a lot of air), at least for ten seconds or so. We'd hold a lighter in one hand, reach out to shake hands with the parents of prospective pupils, and light the outstretched hand as it went past. After they jumped back, we'd apologise, saying something like 'that keeps happening today - we're not sure why.'

  • Wow! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EllisDees (268037) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:44AM (#32756292)

    Is popping balloons also illegal in this neighborhood?

    • by jgagnon (1663075)

      Only if they contain gas or liquid... :p

    • by purduephotog (218304) <hirsch.inorbit@com> on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:29AM (#32756940) Homepage Journal

      Contrary to the humorous jokes about popping balloons, mentos and coke, etc- these do have significant explosive force. When they're at full pressure they can maim. While the first google search of "dry ice bomb accident" turns up a youtube video of a small bottle, one can also see videos from Mythbusters where they used 2 liter containers.

      Very quickly you can see that putting one of these inside of a mailbox can do serious damage.

      These are no different than the drain bombs of my 'youth' when kids were stuffing them in mailboxes everywhere. Those did cause serious injuries- given the reaction of the lye and the shrapnel from the explosions.

      Should Mom be charged? No, she shouldn't, and there should be some common sense applied. But since a 14 year old can't exactly buy dry ice (at least not at the places I fill my CO2 tanks at) then she was supplying him- and if she wasn't supervising him doing this... there is a degree of recklessness that needs to be addressed.

      Maybe she doesn't understand how dangerous these things can be? I doubt the kid was wearing a face shield with gloves and an apron to protect himself incase of premature detonation.

      As a society we all would pay if this child was injured. That's the overriding concern- and society would be screaming right now if the police had showed up, said "Oh, OK, keep at it" and left... and then the kid was in an accident and cost (lets say an eye) his sight.

      You can't have it both ways.

  • by grimsnaggle (1320777) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:45AM (#32756296)
    Society needs to figure out that it can't have it both ways. You can't desire educated kids without giving them the freedom to explore, particularly so long as the damage they do is limited to their own lives and property. Alpha double plusses require a large bottle, right?
  • by wcrowe (94389) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:46AM (#32756314)

    So dry ice in a plastic soda bottle constitutes a "bomb" these days? I mean, I suppose you could "put an eye out" with it, but it's not really what I would call a "bomb". Are the police just stupid, or is the prosecuting attorney delving into hyperbole?

    • Well, yeah actually. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:51AM (#32756386)
    • by Cookie3 (82257) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:10AM (#32756656) Homepage

      Back in 1999, a teacher at my High School was injured because a kid thought a dry ice bomb in a trash can would be a "funny" prank. I don't know how much dry ice was placed in the soda bottles -- I suspect they were 2L bottles -- but he put several bottles of dry ice in different trash cans around the school:

      http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4179/is_19990402/ai_n11719980/ [findarticles.com]

      It's not mentioned in the article, but the teacher did suffer lacerations on his face -- an inch or two to either side, and he might have actually been blinded.

      I don't see how you can not call it a bomb. It's a device that explodes. Improperly placed (or designed), and it can hurt innocent bystanders. Putting dry ice and water in a sealed bottle can *ONLY* result in an explosion. What else would you call it?

    • by Cornelius the Great (555189) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:10AM (#32756660)
      Dry ice in a soda bottle can be dangerous (especially if you point the cap at someone), but certainly not an act of terrorism.

      It's funny how this story gets brought up right before the July 4 weekend- I can't buy any of the fireworks that I used to play with as a kid. I set off dry ice bombs at my high school with no police action resulted (this was before Columbine). I remember going out into the wilderness with a .22 rifle and hunting by myself at the age of 10. Had this been recent, my parents would be in the same boat as the mom in TFA.

      We're depriving our youth of the dangers and the excitement resulting from a combination of intelligence, curiosity, and access to a lot of cool chemicals and explosive materials. Now that Darwin has been defanged, we're a nation of pussies.

      I better go dismantle my potato cannon...
    • by ground.zero.612 (1563557) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:11AM (#32756672)

      So dry ice in a plastic soda bottle constitutes a "bomb" these days? I mean, I suppose you could "put an eye out" with it, but it's not really what I would call a "bomb". Are the police just stupid, or is the prosecuting attorney delving into hyperbole?

      When I was 13yo I had a friend in middle school that had recently returned from an out of state 4th of July vacation, and came home with a ton of illegal-in-my-state fireworks. I convinced him that it would be a great idea to bring a backpack full to school so we should shoot them off.

      Suffice to say that he did bring them, and we skipped the last class of the day and ventured out to the track and field long jump pit. Then, in a blaze of glory we lit off a backpack full of m-80's, black-cats, whistlers, smoke bombs, etc. Just about the time our hearing was returning, we noticed that all 4 grade level principals were rushing us.

      At the end of the day, we were yelled at by 4 school principals, 1 school superintendent, 1 county sheriff, 1 deputy sheriff, 4 city police officers, the city bomb squad, the county SWAT unit, the fire chief, the paramedics, and last but not least our parents. I had to pay $400 to sit through a 6hour juvenile delinquent rehab seminar.

      The best part is that my poor friend cried the whole time, while I laughed almost hysterically. Now, I told you that story so I could tell you this story: when I my father was 13yo, his neighbor had a son the same age, and they would often go hunting and fishing, and exploring together. The neighbor would often give his son and my father a crate of dynamite and simply tell them "you boys be careful, now!"

      The think-of-the-kids mentality is almost solely responsible for this pussification of the USA. Won't someone think of the adults!?!?

    • by Tom (822)

      He's probably missing one bomb conviction for the "all culprit types captures" achievement.

      And they talk about us computer games players losing contact with reality. They wouldn't know reality if it came knocking.

    • by TheLink (130905) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @11:06AM (#32757556) Journal

      Put an eye out? I think you greatly underestimate the destructive power of such bombs:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxsyL_RSsUw [youtube.com]

      While maybe it shouldn't be outlawed or heavily regulated, it actually is very dangerous, if you look at the other video some other slashdotter linked to ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTP4yp8y_NA [youtube.com] ), just see how close those stupid kids got to seriously injuring themselves or others.

      Most firecrackers and fireworks have fuses. So if you're not too stupid you can set those off in a controlled manner.

      Dry ice bombs like these don't.

  • by KarrdeSW (996917) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:47AM (#32756328)
    The kid was probably plotting to wire a case of mentos and coca-cola to drench his neighborhood in sudsy death...
  • Be thankful (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:50AM (#32756366) Homepage Journal

    Be thankful they weren't taking photographs too, or they'd be looking at 25 in PMITA.

  • Watch out! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rotide (1015173) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:52AM (#32756398)

    If over pressurizing a container until it explodes is a felony, make sure your kids don't:

    1) Blow up a finished juice box and stomp on it.
    2) Blow up a plastic bag and hit it.
    3) Blow up and pop a balloon.
    4) Pop bubble packaging wrap.
    5) Blowing and popping bubble gum.

    Those are all variations on the same theme. Now I get it, dry ice "bombs" can cause injury if used without a tiny bit of common sense. But then again, a staircase can be deadly if used incorrectly. But yes, I see the "safety" factor, but a felony? Are we serious?

  • by v1 (525388) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:55AM (#32756444) Homepage Journal

    That's the weak point of this particular law. It's one of those "vague, let the officers interpret it" laws, so in reality, the law isn't determining if what you are doing is illegal, the officers are, and that's not how the legal system is supposed to work.

    If they wanted to drag this out, I'm sure their lawyer could mount their main attack on "destructive device" and pull a win, because it would be trivial to show that the term could apply to a wide variety of things that no reasonable person would consider unlawful. Once you show a law can be used to convict even one innocent person, the law becomes unenforceable in court.

    They probably will simply get the charges dropped, because the cops usually like having vague laws like that on the books because it allows them to make more flexible judgement calls. (which can be good OR bad for the public, and that's the problem) They won't want this to go to court because they'll lose their bad (but useful) law if it does. Or at least get a precedent set against it on the books.

    • Have someone testify that the number of items in the court room that could be considered destructive measures in the tens of thousands (if not orders of magnitude higher).

    • by i.r.id10t (595143) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:15AM (#32756718)

      Destructive devices are NFA items and are covered/controlled by the BATFE. The same BATFE that ruled that a shoe lace can make a machine gun [everydaynodaysoff.com] ...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by siwelwerd (869956)

      Once you show a law can be used to convict even one innocent person, the law becomes unenforceable in court.

      Really? So since innocent people have been exonerated after having been convicted of murder, murder laws are now unenforceable in court?

    • The problem, as I see it, isn't so much in letting the officers interpret it; it's fundamentally impossible for a code of laws to describe every possible scenario. The problem is that juries are generally instructed to not interpret the law, but merely accept the government's interpretation.

    • by Craigj0 (10745)

      > Once you show a law can be used to convict even one innocent person, the law becomes unenforceable in court.
      Once they are convicted they are not innocent. That is why they made a law.

  • by dcsmith (137996) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:58AM (#32756494) Homepage
    Wow - it's a good thing he wasn't caught releasing internally produced methane and igniting it. Mom could have been charged with feeding him beans.
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:58AM (#32756496)

    "Enemy of freedom and democracy". Citizens could arrest legislators, judges, heads of state, and law enforcement persons for violating the principles of a free and libertarian democracy.

    The charges would be adjudicated by all citizens of the town, state, or country (whichever scope was more appropriate). If a majority of those voting agreed to convict, then the person in question would be banished or, if he so chose, could cut down a tree with a herring.

    • In many non-democratic states established in the last half century they call that "counter revolutionary activity." Not something I'm eager to see in the USA.

      • In many non-democratic states established in the last half century they call that "counter revolutionary activity."

        I don't think that's right. That term is usually used by the post-revolution government to prosecute people, rather than applied by the non-governing populace to charge government officials.

    • any proponent of libertarianism who wishes to whittle away government regulations until the power vacuum is filled by corporations, who are not interested in our freedom or democracy at all

  • by RevWaldo (1186281) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @09:59AM (#32756508)
    only outlaws will have Mentos.

    .
    • only outlaws will have Mentos.

      They already do. If you've seen the Mentos commercials from 5-10 years ago, it's clear that those people deserved to be in the Gulag.

  • From the article. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CHK6 (583097) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:01AM (#32756540)
    Looks like the police got in on the fun too. " Police found and detonated an ice bomb in a plastic bottle." Yep, because we all know a dry ice bomb has to be detonated to be disposed of.

    I wonder if I face child endangerment if my son mows the lawn? A minor wielding a gas powered spinning steel blade. That can't be good for children.
  • Now, I recognize I do not know the whole story - but this kind of pisses me off, to be honest. It looks to me, like this was either an experiment or just plain fun. I recognize that the cops would be called for such a loud noise, but an arrest is ridiculous; and, it seems most people here agree. Should we do something about it, or just mock it?

    Contact Juvenile Division [douglascounty-ne.gov]

    Contact Criminal Division [douglascounty-ne.gov]
  • ... back when i was younger, except they used rubbing alcohol and chlorine. It was fun to watch, and it wasn't dangerous if you stood back and detonated them in a field. Basically there is a delayed reaction between the rubbing alcohol and the chlorine which gave about 10 seconds before changing to a deep yellow color and rapidly producing chlorine gas that exploded a soda bottle. This led to more experimentation that resulted in their creation of a PVC mortar-like cannon used to launch softballs about 70 y
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4KMk6T5mQU [youtube.com]

    (Note the video poster makes a Freudian decontextualization of the scene in his comments. Dude, sometime as cigar is just a cigar.)

    .
  • I think Bill Nye should redo his entire show episodes filmed from a cave with a couple of bodyguards and AK-47's behind him.

    C'mon people - when did we forget what it was like to be a boy? It's how we learn. Are taping several bottle rockets together to make it multi-stage and seeing what lights on fire with a magnifying glass going to be terrorist activities too? Do we need a 3-day waiting period for building a potato gun?

    It's amazing what a little bit of fear and fear-mongering (I'm talking to you the Fox

  • This is nothing. Back in the day I lived in a state that allowed fireworks. Typically around New Years my friends and I would get some empty wrapping paper rolls, some bottle rockets and pretend like we had bazookas. Light a bottle rocket it, stick it in one end, watch it come out the other and go wherever you pointed it. I'm sure that was breaking some kind of law, but it sure was fun. Of course we were smart enough to go out into the woods where no annoying parents or busy bodies were around to see.
  • Ah yes - what we used to call the 'Tonic Bomb'. My first encounter with it was quite by accident - I used to make orange soda by putting a few cc of dry ice into a 2 liter bottle of OJ. I was eight years old, and fortunately my dad had the foresight to tell me, "You'd better do that outside." BOOM!!! with a CO2 vapor cloud that took a while to dissipate on that hot humid midwest summer evening.

    Harmless? Hardly. It was a gateway bomb. A few years later (8th grade chemistry) I figured out that the oxy-a

  • by alta (1263) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:23AM (#32756836) Homepage Journal

    Wow, is this what we're coming to? When I was a kid (34 now) I did all kinds of stuff that would now get someone in my family put in jail. It's not like I never got caught, it's just that people understood what 'boys will be boys' meant back then. Sure I didn't personally make a bomb (I would have) but you could have locked me up many times over for incendiary devices, or as I got older, reckless driving.

    It's sad that it's come to this. How many of the worlds smartest people did dangerous things when they were kids? How many electrical engineers played with electricity? How many fire fighters played with fires? How many SWAT team members shot guns and made bombs? How many architects, civil engieers or constructions workers built forts out of wood the re-appropriated from their neighbors fences? How many lemon-aid stand kids are now rich capitalists?

    Our government now only promotes mediocrity, not excellence.

  • kid farts, parents detained for manufacturing biological WMD

  • Talk Back (Score:5, Informative)

    by D66 (452265) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @10:33AM (#32757008)

    Criminal Division
    1701 Farnam Street
    Hall of Justice, Suite # 100
    Omaha, NE 68183
    (402) 444-7040

    In situations like this, public outcry and shame against those who infringe on freedom is a useful tool. Shame is underutilized as a form of social change. We should change that and complain to anyone connected with this charge. Loudly. So rather than posting here impotently, Call the Douglas County Attorney's office and state that this charge is an assault freedom

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