Pipe bomb explodes during its removal

Thursday, December 23rd 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) -- A grand jury will investigate a pipe bomb that exploded while authorities were trying to remove it from the bedroom of a Broken Arrow residence, a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents said. No one was injured Wednesday and only minor damage was done to the structure, officials said. The explosive device was partially inside a metal safe when it went off.

A resident identified by neighbors as Chris Tuter was questioned by officers but was not arrested. Information in the case will be presented to a federal grand jury, said Jeff Cochran, resident agent in charge of the Tulsa ATF office. "We were really here today, more than anything, with regard to the safety of the neighborhood," he said. "At this point, we don't believe there was any threat to the community." He said it didn't appear that the homeowner had determined any target or plan to use the bomb. "I really don't have any idea what his motivation was for having the device," Cochran said. "Some people do strange things."

Authorities arrived at the house to serve a search warran tregarding the pipe bomb, Cochran said. Broken Arrow Police Lt. Paul Kroutter said someone called a national crime tip hot line with information about the explosive device. That information was relayed to Broken Arrow police and then to the ATF office. Officers found the device inside a metal box that was inside a locked gun safe in an upstairs bedroom. The Tulsa Police Bomb Squad was called to the scene, Cochran said. Officers seized several handguns, rifles and shotguns from the home, officials said.