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August 11, 2004
Local Terrorism, Part 2

Following up on the teen pipebomb maker mentioned yesterday.

Parents: Teen Accused Of Having Pipe Bombs Is Model Student

Of course he is.

"He is a good kid. He is inventive. He is assertive. He is curious. He's a honor roll student," he said. "He had no intention of ever setting one of those things off. I think he was just curious to see if he could do it."

Great. So tell us Dad, why was he driving around with these objects of his curiosity in the back of the car?

Later in the article:

"He was really nice, really outgoing. Just kind of stood out. He had a bunch of friends, but he kept to himself sometimes," student Holly Goodwin said.

The good Lord knows, if I ever did something foolish enough to end up on the news, my own neighbors would probably describe me as "a quiet guy — keeps mostly to himself, but he seems pretty nice."

Heck, why not just label me a psychopath now and be done with it?

Students said they were happy the authorities acted when they did.

"After the Columbine thing, everyone is going to be concerned about school violence. It is really surprising, coming from a small town like Apex," student Curtis Driver said.

"It's scary to think about that," student Melissa Williams said. "He could have brought them to school. Anything could have happened."

Exactly. Anything could have happened. We don't yet know what the kid had in mind; given that he's a minor, we might not ever know, except through the filter of his legal surrogates. [IANAL; in juvenile cases, are prosecutors allowed to talk to the public?]

He's apparently not a stupid kid... but at the very minimum, he is a fool. OK, maybe I'm being a bit harsh on the kid. I suspect he probably just has a teenage-boy fixation on blowing stuff up — we all have incidents of extreme foolishness in our past, after all — but my suspicions aren't exactly the final word on this.

I just wonder: if the kid hadn't been caught when he was, would we instead be seeing news reports like this one?

Posted by Russ at 03:46 PM, August 11, 2004 in North Carolina

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