Teenager in school bomb explosion wanted to show friends explosives, testimony says

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NEWAYGO COUNTY, MI – A teenager brought a homemade bomb to school to show off to his friends before it accidentally exploded in his hands, an investigator said on Wednesday March 10.

The 16-year-old lost most of his two thumbs and suffered superficial cuts and burns when an explosive material exploded on Monday March 8 in a classroom at Newaygo High School.

Four classmates and a teacher were treated in a hospital for minor injuries.

The father of the teenager, David Robert Daniel Saylor, 34, who allegedly made and detonated explosives with his son at their home, was arrested for the felony of making explosives and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Newaygo County Estates Judge Michael Paige on Wednesday ordered the children living with Saylor to be removed from his home and placed with their mother. She had custody of the three, but two lived with their father, she said.

Child Protective Services workers have raised concerns about explosives and unsecured firearms. They were also concerned about the teenager’s interest in explosives, his beating a cat with a 2-liter soda bottle, and his “amateur taxidermy” after killing animals in the woods. , according to testimonies.

Jessica Held, a CPS investigator, said authorities did not believe the 16-year-old intended to hurt others when he brought the explosives to school. On the contrary, she said, he “brought it to school to show his friends when it left in his hands.”

State police also said the teenager “accidentally detonated a homemade explosive he brought to school.”

The teenager was released from the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital on Tuesday evening, she said.

CPS has already worked with the family on several issues, she said.

Held said police determined that father and son designed, built and detonated explosives together over the months.

Newaygo Police, Newaygo County Sheriff’s Deputies, State Police, FBI, and Federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, searched Saylor’s home on the evening of the ‘explosion. Investigators found unsecured firearms and explosives.

“Some of them were volatile, as evidenced by the explosion that happened at the school,” Held said.

Mark Allen, another CPS investigator, also noted a number of unsecured firearms, including pellet guns, in the family’s home. Guns were found in the bedrooms, along with a gun on top of a kitchen cabinet, he said.

He said the residence – in the 2300 block of East 95th Street in Brooks Township, Newaygo County – was in “poor to fair condition,” with dog feces all over it. It was not safe for children, he told the judge.

The 16-year-old told investigators his father obtained items used in explosives from Amazon or Walmart, Allen said.

The father is being held on $ 100,000 bond. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted of a felony.

He has a court hearing on March 18.

During his appearance on Tuesday, Saylor became upset and moved when District Attorney Ellsworth Stay described his son’s injuries and said he was “nearly killed” in the blast.

The state police demining team detonated other explosives found at his home, police said.

The teenager was suspended from school pending eviction proceedings, police said.

Read more:

Father of student who brought exploded device to school arrested on multiple charges

Additional explosive devices found in Michigan home after homemade bomb injures six at school

High school student accidentally lit home bomb, injuring 6, police say


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