5 charged after allegedly throwing explosive device at Milwaukee officers on Water Street

NOW: 5 charged after allegedly throwing explosive device at Milwaukee officers on Water Street

NEXT:

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee police announced Monday that five suspects were arrested and charged after throwing an "explosive device" at two police officers, injuring both, on Saturday, July 5. Officials say the officers were standing on the median monitoring the downtown entertainment district on Water Street around 12:15 a.m. when it happened.

Police say the five men set off M-80's, M-1000's and a two-pound device they described as a pipe bomb. Police said it was a piece of PVC pipe filled with explosive powder.

The detonation caused injuries to officers and damaged a squad car. Officials say the detonation was so powerful that it deployed the squad car's airbags.

"This is not a game, these devices should not be detonated anywhere near a human being, they're not designed for that," said Milwaukee Police Inspector Paul Formolo.

He said officers were stationed in the median on Water Street to prevent U-turns and keep an eye on things. They had been hearing explosions all night. Video captured by CBS 58 showed fireworks being set off in the area.

At a quarter past midnight, police said a car drove by and someone threw a lit explosive that exploded next to two officers.

Both officers, a 45-year-old and 40-year-old, were taken to the hospital and missed time from work to recover from their injuries. Other officers had seen the car and ran the plate. Police found it parked near the owner's address on North 50th. Police towed the car, and when the owner came to the police station the next day, arrested him.

"This is no less dangerous than discharging a firearm at somebody," said Formolo.

Police found 90 M-80's, four M-1000's and another pipe bomb in one of the suspect's cars. Police also searched suspect Derek Smith's phone and found a long voice-to-text where he said, "We had some bombs, like some pipe bombs. Ones that make the whole city shake."

According to MPD, the following five individuals were arrested in connection to this incident:

Gerrell Bufford was charged with two counts of First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Use of a Dangerous Weapon – Party to a Crime and one count of Possession of Explosives for Unlawful Purpose - Party to a Crime. If convicted, he could face up to 47 years, 6 months in prison and could be fined up to $75,000.

Demetrius A. Powell was charged with five counts of Possession of Improvised Explosive Device. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison and could be fined up to $50,000.

Derek M. Smith was charged with two counts of First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Use of a Dangerous Weapon – Party to a Crime, one count of Possession of Explosives for Unlawful Purpose - Party to a Crime and one count of Damage of Property by Explosives. If convicted, he could face up to 87 years, 6 months in prison and could be fined up to $175,000.

Javaier D. Thompson was charged with two counts of First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Use of a Dangerous Weapon – Party to a Crime, one count of Possession of Explosives for Unlawful Purpose - Party to a Crime. If convicted, he could face up to 47 years, 6 months in prison and could be fined up to $75,000.

Lawrence T. Turner was charged with one count of Possession of Improvised Explosive Device - Habitual Criminality Repeater. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and could be fined up to $10,000.

All of the explosives police found are considered illegal by the federal government.

As part of their investigation, police said they've found a black market for them.

They're asking for the public's help to crack down on these sales.

Share this article:
 
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?