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June 08, 2007
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Teen arrested for planting bombs at San Francisco hospital

By Jaxon Van Derbeken,
San Francisco Chronicle

A 16-year-old psychiatric outpatient at San Francisco General Hospital left pipe bombs on the hospital grounds because it gave him a feeling of power, authorities said Thursday.

The unnamed Belmont youth -described by authorities familiar with the case as having been previously treated at the hospital - was arrested Wednesday night outside his home.

He was charged with four counts of possessing an explosive device and one count of possessing bomb materials.

The youth admitted to having another device on him at the time he was arrested.

San Francisco police Lt. Dan Mahoney said Thursday that the youth learned how to make the devices on the Internet.

The youth, when asked why he planted the bombs, said "it made him feel powerful. It made him feel good," Mahoney said.

The arrest came after a month of investigation.

On May 22, authorities found a pipe bomb on the hospital grounds. It is unclear how the device -- left in a wooded area near hospital buildings -- could have been detonated.

Then, at 4 p.m. Wednesday, part of the hospital was shut down for three hours after security found a pipe bomb in a wooded area near the sidewalk along the 800 block of Potrero Avenue.

Police learned that the hospital staff suspected the 16-year-old may have planted it. They went to Belmont and arrested the youth, who was carrying a pipe bomb and readily admitted to planting them.

Police returned to the hospital grounds and retrieved a third device near San Bruno Avenue late Wednesday.

Police said the youth lived with his father and apparently took a SamTrans bus to the hospital.

Copyright 2007 San Francisco Chronicle

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