Houston Man Charged for Trying to Blow up Confederate Statue
Bomb technicians were called to a Houston home this week to detonate explosives discovered on the family property of a man who was reportedly caught trying to plant explosives on a statue of Confederate Major Richard W. Dowling, famous for his victory at the Second Battle of Sabine Pass in 1863.
According to the Houston Chronicle, 25-year-old Andrew Schneck was spotted by ranger Tamara Curtis at Houston's Hermann Park shortly before 11 PM Saturday night following a day of protests against the Spirit of the Confederacy installation at Sam Houston Park.
The Chronicle cites an FBI statement indicating that Shneck was discovered at the base of the statue with two boxes containing a homemade detonator, a timer, wiring, a battery, a bottle of nitroglycerin, and an organic explosive known as hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD).
Schneck reportedly told the park ranger, "I don't like the guy", and, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas, he took a drink from a bottle filled with HMTD dissolved in a clear liquid before spitting it out per Ranger Curtis' request.
He was charged with attempting to maliciously damage or destroy property and taken into federal custody. He faces 40 years in prison and a $250,000 fine is convicted.
Explosives experts searched the home Schneck shares with his parents and discovered more explosive materials. On Monday, they evacuated neighboring homes and safely detonated the substances.
KHOU-TV reports that Schneck pleaded guilty in 2014 to storing dangerous chemicals on three separate properties belonging to his parents, for which he received probation. He was reportedly released from probation early, and KHOU reports he'll be represented by the same attorney he had in the prior case when he goes to court Thursday.