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Two men hurt, one jailed in pipe bomb blast

A homemade pipe bomb that sent two people to the hospital landed a third in the county jail Sunday.

Pasco County sheriff's detectives arrested Carl Ray Gardner, 20, of 12320 Citation Road, off State Road 52, not long after he and two others detonated the device near a pond at the end of Decision Road in Land O'Lakes.

Gardner, who was not injured in the blast, was charged with making a destructive device. He was being held on $5,000 bail late Monday.

Sheriff's spokesman Jon Powers said authorities also plan to charge James Whitman, 21, and Jonathan D. Evans, 16, who were injured in the explosion.

Officials said the three assembled the pipe bomb with black powder used in antique firearms. A small amount of the powder was found in the Dove Road home where Whitman and Evans live.

Authorities said the three made the bomb "just to see if they could."

They carried it to a field about a mile away and lit the fuse, according to reports. It detonated immediately.

Whitman was knocked unconscious, and Evans suffered flash burns and a hand injury. Both were taken by helicopter to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. They were treated and released late Sunday.

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