A faculty member and his 16-year-old son allegedly tried to set off a “military-style” smoke bomb at an elite boarding school in Colorado, after the father's contract with the school was not renewed.
Bryan Bolding, 46, an IT director, and his son are accused of placing a device in Fountain Valley School’s cafeteria. The device prompted evacuation of 300 faculty and students that lasted around six hours. Fortunately, the device didn’t detonate.
Bolding was told in February by the school that his contract as the director of technology would not be renewed.
The two were arrested on suspicion of felony charges, including terrorist training activities, conspiracy, possession and use of a hoax incendiary device, child abuse without injury and felony menacing, said El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jacqueline Kirby.
“We're still putting the pieces together,” said Kirby.
He further added that authorities have since learned that a previous incident was a dry run for the incident at the school. Earlier in the week, a seemingly unrelated smoke bomb was connected to the device at the school. When the smoke bomb went off, law enforcement didn't identify any suspects, but were given a photo of the bomb by the person who called 911. Police noticed similarities between the smoke bomb and the device left at the school.
The two suspects had initially planned to set off the device at graduation but later changed their plan and placed it in the cafeteria to create “terror and panic.” They had a remote detonator to control the device but when they tried to set it off, it failed to ignite.
Initially, the son denied he had any knowledge of the incident. However, he later admitted that he learned to make the device from his father. He also revealed that the plan had been under works for weeks. At first, Bolding also denied planning anything, but he later told detectives he wanted to "just set off a smoke bomb." He was later released after posting $3,000 bond. His son was also arrested but was not identified as he is a juvenile.
The school is located on 1,100 acres on a former ranch about 10 miles south of Colorado Springs. It has a total of about 235 students, a mix of both boarding and day students.
The father and son duo intended to set off a "military grade smoke bomb" in the cafeteria to incite terror and panic https://t.co/iHrydKkmr2— Lena Howland (@LenaHowland) May 17, 2017
A FVS faculty member taught his son how to build smoke bombs then they put one in the school cafeteria. Story below.https://t.co/AeRzvi8Q1J— Samantha Marks (@SamanthaMarksTV) May 18, 2017
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters