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Three teens arrested in connection with string of acid bomb incidents

TAMPA — A dangerous string of practical jokes may be over with the arrest of three teens who deputies say were behind a series of acid bombing incidents over the past two months.

The jokers poured chemicals that, when combined, make a loud, explosive noise and cause a corrosive liquid to leak from the plastic bottles in which they are held, said J.D. Callaway, a spokesman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

"They put them in front of people's houses and on one person's car," Callaway said. "Some were in Hawaiian Punch jugs."

Sheriff's records show six such incidents took place between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. in June and July. In some cases, the victim's awoke to a loud bang and came outside to find their property damaged.

Callaway said after the sheriff's bomb squad collected the evidence for examination, and detectives developed sources that led them to arrest one young man, who confessed to all six bombings.

Jonathan Andrew Sturch, 19, of 11411 Cypress Park St. in the Carrollwood neighborhood of Tampa, has been charged with six counts of discharging a destructive device and two counts of felony criminal mischief.

Two other teens, 19-year-old Jesse Kyle Lavallee of 15407 Carrollton Lane and 17-year-old Jason Wesley Hall of 19259 Blount Road in Lutz, were charged with discharging a destructive device and felony criminal mischief in connection with the acid bombing of a car Thursday night.

Sheriff's reports say the trio placed an acid bomb on the hood of a 2005 Scion parked at 13801 Springer Lane because a friend of one of the teens had a problem with someone who lives in that house.

"It damaged the paint on the vehicle," Callaway said.

The other five victims were chosen at random, the sheriff's report stated.

Sturch and Lavallee were taken to a Hillsborough County jail Thursday night. On Friday, Sturch was released on $49,000 bail, and Lavallee was released on $4,500 bail.

Hall, who told detectives he was a Sickles High student, was taken to the county Juvenile Assessment Center for processing.

Three teens arrested in connection with string of acid bomb incidents 07/31/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 31, 2009 11:49pm]
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