Calif. Teen Charged in Exploding Pen Case; 3 Injured in Incidents

December 12, 2005

An El Monte, California teenager has been charged with various felony crimes in connection with three incidents between August and this month involving booby-trapped pens that exploded when their caps were removed, the District Attorney’s office announced.

The minor (dob 12-24-1987), who was not named due to his age, was scheduled to be arraigned on Monday in Pomona Juvenile Court.

In the petition (GJ21968) filed in court last week, the District Attorney charged nine felony counts: three of explosion of a destructive device causing bodily injury; two of possession of a destructive device near a school; one of sale or transportation of a destructive device; one of assembling, maintaining or placing a booby-trap device; one of assault with a deadly weapon; and one of possession of the ingredients to make a destructive device.

The District Attorney’s office will seek to have the minor tried as an adult. As part of the petition, the court was asked to rule that the minor is unfit to be tired as a juvenile.

Deputy District Attorney Steven Weiss, who filed the petition, said it alleges the explosions occurred on Aug. 24, Sept. 17 and Dec. 2. The minor, who remains in custody at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall, was arrested by El Monte police officers after the Dec. 2 incident at El Monte High School. The other incidents occurred near Rosemead High School, authorities said.

Three people were injured when the pens exploded, authorities said.

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