Police: Houston man arrested planting bomb at Confederate statue

By Allen Cone

Aug. 21 (UPI) -- A 25-year-old Houston man is accused of trying to plant explosives at a Confederate statue in a Houston park, federal officials said Monday.

Andrew Schneck was arrested at 11 p.m. Saturday at Herrmann Park after a park ranger noticed him kneeling in bushes in front of statue of Confederate officer Richard Dowling, acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez said in a statement Monday. A complaint was filed in federal court in Houston.


Schneck was released from probation early last year after being convicted in 2015 of storing explosives at his parents' home.

Schneck lives about 2 miles away in the Rice University area, where police evacuated a neighborhood Monday morning after authorities found hazardous materials inside his home. On Sunday, law enforcement descended on the $2.1 million home where the U.S. Attorney's Office said Scheck had been conducting "chemistry experiments"

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On Saturday, authorities said the man had tried to drink liquid explosives.

The ranger, who reported the man holding two boxes, including a timer and wires, notified the Houston Police Department.

Federal authorities said one of two tubes on the devices contained nitgroglycerin and hexamethylene triperoxide diamine. HMTD, which is considered a "highly explosive compound," is used as a primary explosive. Nitroclycerin is a contact explosive in its purest form.


Authorities believe the items could produce a viable explosive device, according to the charges.

Earlier in the day, several hundred people protested a Spirit of the Confederacy statue at Sam Houston Park in Hermann Park. The event also drew counter-protesters.

The Houston Office of Emergency Management advised residents in the neighborhood they needed to dispose of the materials with controlled detonations. KHOU-TV reported that FBI officials searched the home in Museum District neighborhood near Rice University from mid-Sunday to Monday morning.

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FBI agents had set up a blue tent on the front lawn and an agent wheeled a large plastic bin, labeled "sample collection," toward the roped-off house. They did not provide details.

Four years ago, the FBI raided the same home looking for picric acid, a military-grade explosive.

Schneck was sentenced to five years probation after pleading guilty in federal court to knowingly storing high explosives. In 2016, a judge released him from probation ahead of schedule.

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