Pipe bombs found on New Ulm campus

  • Updated: April 21, 2007 - 12:00 AM

NEW ULM, MINN. - Two pipe bombs discovered in vehicles in the parking lot of a college campus were deactivated without incident Friday, police said.

The bombs apparently belonged to a student at Martin Luther College who is under observation at a local hospital, Police Chief Erv Weinkauf said. He said that investigators have no indication the student intended to detonate the bombs but that he still faces possible arrest depending on the results of an investigation.

"At this point we haven't been able to determine any malicious intent," Weinkauf said.

The student's roommate told police that the man woke him up around 4 a.m. Friday. His behavior was strange enough that the roommate took him to New Ulm Medical Center.

The roommate knew the man kept weapons in their room and, after returning from the hospital, decided to put them in the trunk of his car. That's where he found the first pipe bomb, prompting him to notify college security, who summoned police.

Police secured the area and determined that the device didn't pose a threat to the rest of campus. Warnings were circulated to students to avoid the part of campus where the bomb was found.

Police and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found the second device in a pickup that belonged to the man under suspicion, Weinkauf said.

The Bloomington Bomb Squad was called to the scene, where it detonated one of the devices and defused the other.

Martin Luther College President Ted Olsen told the Journal of New Ulm that the student in question is a U.S. Army veteran in his mid-20s who was wounded in Iraq.

"He's been dealing with a lot of pain" and was receiving treatment at VA hospitals, Olsen said.

Weinkauf said authorities confiscated several other weapons. He said the man could face state or federal charges.

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