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Richard Dowling statue in Hermann Park

Man charged with planting bombs on Confederate statue in Houston

A Texas man was arrested Saturday for reportedly attempting to strap explosives onto a Confederate monument in a Houston park.

The suspect, Andrew Schneck, 25, was released from probation last year following a 2015 conviction for storing explosives, Acting US Attorney Abe Martinez revealed in Monday’s statement.

Schneck was arrested after allegedly being caught kneeling in front of the Richard Dowling statue in Hermann Park. When confronted by a park ranger Saturday night, officials claimed he tried to drink some of the liquid explosives but spit it out, the Houston Chronicle reported.

“While placing the boxes on the ground, Schneck took a clear plastic bottle appearing to be full of a clear liquid from one of the boxes,” FBI Special Agent Patrick Hutchinson wrote in the complaint.

Hutchinson alleged the 25-year-old was holding two small boxes, one including “what appeared to be duct tape and wires.” CNN reported that the ranger supposedly eyed a timer and wires near Schneck.

The suspect told the ranger that he planned to harm the statue because he didn’t “like that guy,” according to the FBI agent’s sworn statement.

Schneck’s Rice Village neighborhood was evacuated Monday after authorities supposedly discovered hazardous materials inside his home. Law enforcement warned residents about hearing loud noises while they worked to dispose of the materials through controlled detonations, KHOU reported.

Assistant Houston police chief, Larry Satterwhite, announced that they recovered “significant hazardous materials” in the home but would not disclose what they were.

A test revealed that the mystery substances supposedly in Schneck’s possession Saturday night was nitroglycerin and Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD). Hutchinson noted that HTMD can be used as an initiatory or prime explosive. In its purest form, nitroglycerin is a highly-volatile liquid that can explode on contact.

The man’s lawyers have provided few details about the case.

“This is an evolving situation, with an ongoing investigation,” said Philip Hilder told the Chronicle. “It would be premature to comment at this time since we have not seen the evidence.”

Schneck is charged with attempting to maliciously damage or destroy property receiving federal financial assistance. He faces 40 years in prison and a $250,000 maximum fine if convicted.

[Featured Image: City of Houston]