The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Nation & World

October 17, 2013

Police: Curious worker set off LAX dry ice bombs

LOS ANGELES — A baggage handler arrested after dry ice bombs exploded at Los Angeles International Airport planted the three devices out of personal curiosity, police said Wednesday.

The motive was disclosed a day after the arrest of Dicarlo Bennett, a 28-year-old employee for the aviation ground services company Servisair.

"I think we can safely say he is not a terrorist or an organized crime boss. He did this for his own amusement," said Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Downing, who heads the department's counter-terrorism and special operations bureau.

No one was hurt when a plastic bottle packed with dry ice exploded Sunday in an employee bathroom and another blew up on the airport's tarmac. An employee found a third plastic bottle expanding Monday night on the tarmac near where the other exploded, said LAPD Capt. Steve Sambar, who heads major crimes division.

Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon said Bennett used dry ice that had been discarded into a container on the airfield after it was used to maintain the freshness of food being loaded onto a plane. The airport will now require employees to return dry ice to the warehouse and not leave it out on the tarmac.

Airport officials plan to meet with law enforcement authorities to examine other potential security enhancements at one of the nation's busiest airports.

Bennett passed the federal background checks necessary to receive a security badge for access to restricted areas, Gannon said. He was one of nearly 50,000 badged employees working at the three airports owned by the city of Los Angeles.

Bennett was arrested Tuesday and booked on suspicion of possession of a destructive device near an aircraft. He was being held on $1 million bail.

It was not immediately clear whether Bennett had a lawyer. A message left on a phone number listed at an address for Bennett was not returned.

Servisair said in a statement that it had no comment beyond confirming that Bennett was an employee at the time of incident.

Bennett was riding in a van with several people, including a supervisor, when he decided to make the dry ice bombs Sunday night, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press. Those in the van were aware of the dry ice but no other arrests have been made, according to the official, who wasn't authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Investigators believe the bombs were set "out of a desire to construct and experience a device exploding," said Los Angeles police Lt. John Karle. He called it foolish and negligent behavior.

Police primarily relied on interviews with witnesses and physical evidence but also reviewed surveillance video. Cameras cover some of these restricted-access areas, but Downing said there isn't as much camera coverage as in the public-access areas.

The union representing police at LAX said the incident highlights the need for the installation of more security cameras at the airport.

The bombs were made by putting dry ice in 20-ounce plastic bottles. When the bottle is sealed, pressure builds up as the solid carbon dioxide turns into gas, causing the bottle to burst.

The LAX explosions recalled a May incident at Disneyland in which police said an employee placed dry-ice-packed bottles in a food cart and trash can. Both exploded; no one was injured.

Los Angeles police Detective Paul Robi, who is on the bomb squad, emphasized Wednesday that building dry ice bombs is a felony.

He said a man was killed in 1992 while cleaning a liquor store in Los Angeles when a kid created a dry ice bomb with a glass bottle and the man picked it up. Glass shards slit his throat and he bled to death.

 

1
Text Only
Nation & World
  • Costa Rica is demanding US explain 'Cuban Twitter'

    The Costa Rican government says it's still waiting for the Obama administration to explain why it launched the secret "Cuban Twitter" network from inside the Central American nation's borders despite warnings in 2009 that the plan could jeopardize the two countries' diplomatic relations.

    April 24, 2014

  • FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes

    The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.

    April 24, 2014

  • High court nixes $3.4M award to child porn victim

    The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea to make it easier for victims of child pornography to collect money from people who view their images online, throwing out a nearly $3.4 million judgment in favor of a woman whose childhood rape has been widely seen on the Internet. Two dissenting justices said Congress should change the law to benefit victims.

    April 24, 2014

  • First lady announces one-stop job site for vets

    To help veterans leaving the military as it downsizes, the government on Wednesday started a one-stop job-shopping website for them to create resumes, connect with employers and become part of a database for companies to mine.

    April 23, 2014

  • US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

    The Obama administration is encouraging many nonviolent federal prisoners to apply for early release — and expecting thousands to take up the offer. It's an effort to deal with high costs and overcrowding in prisons, and also a matter of fairness, the government says.

    April 23, 2014

  • Missouri executes inmate for 1993 farm slaying

    Missouri executed an inmate early Wednesday only a few miles from the farm where prosecutors say he orchestrated the 1993 killing of a couple whose cows he wanted to steal.

    April 23, 2014

  • Pro-Russian insurgents hold US journalist captive

    Pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Ukraine admitted on Wednesday that they are holding an American journalist, saying he was suspected of unspecified "bad activities."

    April 23, 2014

  • Beautiful Bulldogs.jpg Lucey is tops in Iowa's 'Beautiful Bulldog' event

    Lucey is a slobbering 18-month-old pooch whose human family dreams of making her a therapy dog.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sherpas leave Everest; some expeditions nix climbs

    Sherpa guides packed up their tents and left Mount Everest's base camp Wednesday in an unprecedented walkout to honor 16 of their colleagues who were killed last week in the deadliest avalanche ever recorded on the mountain, climbers said.

    April 23, 2014

  • FBI investigates suspected serial child molester

    The FBI asked for the public's help Tuesday to identify at least 90 potential victims of a suspected child predator who worked at 10 American and other international schools abroad for more than four decades before committing suicide last month in Minnesota.

    April 22, 2014

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium