James Minyard: Tampa man charged with building bombs

TAMPA - The man who confessed to blowing off two of his fingers with a homemade bomb has now been charged with making several explosive devices out of his parents' home, according to Tampa Police.

James Minyard, 41, was hospitalized Tuesday after an improvised explosive device blew off parts of his middle and ring fingers along Sligh Avenue.  After his release from Tampa General, police arrested and charged him with six counts of manufacturing and possession of homemade explosive devices.  

A search warrant of the house at 1212 East Crawford Street revealed a bomb-making lab, complete with chemicals and materials to make a "variety" of devices, according to Sgt. Jarrett Seal of the Tampa Police Bomb Squad.

"The types of homemade explosives that he was making are very, very dangerous and very volatile," Seal said.  "You definitely don't want that to be outside of a controlled environment, and this was not a controlled environment."

Investigators said Minyard told them he was making the bombs because he never finished school and was trying to prove that he could accomplish a challenging task.  Minyard told police he researched how to make the bombs using the internet.

"He did surf the web online looking for different recipes to make these chemicals," Seal said.

Minyard did not explain where he was going with the two homemade bombs on Sligh Avenue Tuesday afternoon, and why he detonated one of them, severing his two fingers.

Tampa police, in conjunction with the ATF and FBI, said there was no evidence Minyard was connected to any terrorist organization.  He appeared to be working alone, and right next to his parents' bedroom.

"I couldn't believe it," said Jim Minyard, the suspect's father.  Minyard said he had no reason to doubt his son when he told police there were no grand intentions for the explosives.

"He was just doing it as a hobby to see if he could do it," said Minyard's father.  "He picked it up from the internet and that was it," he said.

Jim Minyard said he was as surprised as anyone to discover all this was going on inside his own house, apparently for months.  Police said Minyard's son was working on bomb-making since January.

"It's troubling what happened," said Minyard's father.  "But he's got to pay the consequences for what he did."

 
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