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Fla. man caught with explosives, claims he wanted to hurt first responders

Authorities said a device was also rigged inside a SpongeBob SquarePants lunchbox


By Michael Williams
Orlando Sentinel

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — What started as a domestic disturbance between a DeBary man and his parents led to the discovery of hundreds of chemicals, acids, bomb-making materials and a potential booby trap meant to kill first responders, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

The incident began shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday on Bradwick Circle, when deputies responded to an argument involving Christopher Langer, 31, and his parents, sheriff’s spokesman Andrew Gant said. Langer told his parents he had put an explosive substance into a grenade, Gant said.

In the backyard, deputies found a metal, pineapple-shaped grenade with a paper clip in place to keep it from exploding, Gant said. They also found a toy car concealing what appeared to be a small pipe bomb.

Authorities said a device was also rigged inside a SpongeBob SquarePants lunchbox.

“What’s extremely concerning is you’re talking about a kid’s school lunch box. What was in his mind where you would put together a SpongeBob lunchbox and booby-trap that?” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said at a news conference.

“The purpose of that is to blow somebody up,” he said.

Inside the house, deputies found Langer’s room in “deplorable” condition, covered in urine and feces. They found about 200 containers of acids and chemicals, including nitric acid, sulfuric acid and sulfur. They also discovered several containers of Langer’s urine, which can be used as fuel for an explosive device, Chitwood said.

While Langer was being arrested, he told authorities he had anti-government sentiments and was against “the system,” deputies said.

“You’ve got somebody who’s mentally ill, clearly. He’s been Baker-Acted four times. He’s got a substance-abuse problem. He has a hate for the government. So, you have somebody who’s not really dealing in the realm of reality,” Chitwood said, adding he believes Langer was “looking to make a weapon of mass destruction.”

A few weeks ago, deputies responded to the home and found Langer overdosing on heroin. He was administered a dose of Narcan, which saved his life, Chitwood said.

“Two weeks ago, we saved your [expletive] life. And now we’re here two weeks later, and you’re talking about how you wanted to blow us all up,” he said.

Langer was charged with making and possessing a destructive device and was taken to the Volusia County Jail on $5,000 bail, but Chitwood asked a judge to revoke Langer’s bail. Additional charges may be filed, pending the results of the investigation.

Some residents who had been evacuated from their homes returned Sunday night.

©2017 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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