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By April Reynolds akr011@latech

By April Reynolds


A Tech student was arrested and charged with the manufacture and possession of delayed action incendiary devices and illegal possession of stolen property on Jan. 6.

Tech Police received a report Friday night that a student was throwing items into the hallway of Neilson Residence Hall.

Upon investigation of the incident, police said it was discovered that Robert Accardo, a freshmen wildlife conservation major, had been making incendiary devices in his dormitory room by placing food heater items with water inside of soda bottles.

Tech police Chief Steven Quinnelly said Accardo was allegedly making explosive devices that were equivalent in power to that of cherry bombs or other commercial fireworks.

“When water is placed on [these heating pads] it causes a chemical reaction which causes steam,” Quinnelly said.

“When you take [the] heater packet and place it in a soda bottle, add water and close the bottle, it causes the bottle to expand until it explodes.”

Quinnelly said the possession of firearms and explosives in residence halls is prohibited. He said Accardo’s alleged actions are considered by law as the manufacture of incendiary devices.

Chris Yutzy, a Neilson resident and freshman mechanical engineering major, said he saw broken beer bottles in the hallway before police ordered residents back into their rooms.

“When I came home from work, the police were there,” Yutzy said. “I saw the bottles, and there were only about four; two were broken and two were intact.”

Tech police Detective Thomas Craig, an arresting officer, said it is not known whether the beer bottles had actually being thrown into the hallway or if they had already been there.

“They were in the hallway when we arrived, and he didn’t tell us whether he threw them or not,” Craig said.

Quinnelly said no injuries were reported from the incident. He said one resident suffered discoloration to his clothing as a result of the chemicals that were being used to make the devices.

“I don’t believe [the suspect] was targeting specific individuals,” Quinnelly said.

Yutzy said the incident does not make him uncomfortable but just more conscious of suspicious behavior and people within the residence halls.

“I don’t feel unsafe,” Yutzy said. “I just feel like people do ridiculous things, but you just have to stay away from them.”

Quinnelly said at the time of the arrest, the suspect also had in his possession a large trash can and chair stolen from campus and a shopping cart stolen from a local grocery.

Accardo was booked in the Lincoln Parish Detention Center. The case is being referred to the Lincoln Parish District Attorney’s Office and Tech Judicial Affairs for review.

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