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
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
“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.