James Leigh Snyder, arrested Wednesday for allegedly throwing what appeared to be smoke bombs on the floor in Wild River Pizza in Harbor, Oregon, alluded to Curry County Sheriff’s Officers Friday that it was “just a prank.”
Sheriff’s deputies arrested the Harbor man on numerous charges after they found bomb-making materials in his home on West Benham Lane, where he is listed as the caretaker for his grandmother and aunt.
The 40-year-old man was reported to 911 Tuesday afternoon after Wild River Pizza owner Cody Miller called to report the incident, which forced the evacuation of the building for about two hours. The material he threw on the floor was highly volatile and crackled, exploded and emitted a purple burst of smoke at the lightest touch, law enforcement reports read.
Miller said the substance was as loud as a .22-caliber gun and caused significant damage to the floor of the restaurant.
The Harbor Fire Department was first on scene and helped evacuate the building, Sheriff John Ward said. And a chemistry teacher from Brookings-Harbor High School was summoned and determined the substance could be neutralized using baking soda.
The Harbor Fire and Rescue Department volunteers then cleaned the area and made it safe for people to re-enter.
Oregon State Police took samples of the chemical for testing.
Deputies viewed video taken during the incident, which indicated there were at least three people involved. Snyder was later identified by Brookings police, and more arrests are anticipated.
After his arrest, the Oregon State Police Bomb Squad was contacted; they found what appeared to be a homemade pipe bomb and other bomb-making material at his home. The purported bomb was taken to a safe place and “neutralized.”
Snyder was charged with first-degree criminal mischief, second-degree criminal conspiracy, two charges of first-degree criminal mistreatment, possession of a destructive device, manufacturing a destructive device, possession of methamphetamine, first-degree disorderly conduct and multiple counts of reckless endangering.
Snyder’s criminal history includes a 2003 fourth-degree assault conviction and a criminal trespassing charge on which he was arraigned Dec. 18, the day before he allegedly attacked the pizza restaurant.
His Facebook page shows he has a military background and touts the principles of the New World Order, generally defined as the “notion of a common political authority … a single state that exercises authority over the entire Earth.”
The information has been forwarded to the District Attorney’s office, and OSP and the Curry County Sheriff’s Office are continuing their investigation.