BALTIMORE (WBFF)-- Baltimore County Police have charged a volunteer firefighter after explosive devices were detonated behind an elementary school in Dundalk last weekend.
Police responded to Berkshire Elementary School at 7431 Poplar Avenue just after midnight Saturday morning, November 17, for a report of an explosion. Members of the Baltimore County Police Hazardous Devices Team responded to the scene and located evidence of a small package explosion on a bench behind the school. Investigators also obtained surveillance video of the incident that depicted a suspect placing a box on the bench, igniting the box and running away.
Similar calls were received late Monday night at the same location for possible shots fired or an explosion heard. Investigators located a charred area and debris near a tree behind Berkshire Elementary School around 11:38 p.m. At that time, an officer canvassing the area located a suspicious subject in an alley behind the school, identifying him as Anthony Dale Reed (20) of the 500 block of 48th Street, 21224. Reed was carrying a scanner and identified himself as a volunteer firefighter. He was questioned and released at the scene.
Bomb Technician Officers and Detectives from the Arson Investigation Team collaborated on the investigations and positively identified the suspect seen on school surveillance as Anthony Reed.
Additionally, detectives from the Dundalk Precinct began collaborating with the Hazardous Devices Team on a call they were investigating for a bomb threat on November 15 in which the caller threatened to activate a destructive device in the Berkshire community. None was located in that incident. The investigation into this has also identified Reed as the suspect.
Reed, who police have confirmed is an active volunteer firefighter in Baltimore County, is charged with the following:
Manufacture/Possess/Distribute a Destructive Device
Possession of Explosive/Incendiary Material with Intent to Create Destructive Device
2nd Degree Malicious Burning
Trespassing on School Grounds
Threat of Arson
Reed was arrested at his home on a warrant around 7:30 p.m. last night. He is currently held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on no bail status pending a bail review hearing.
The Baltimore County Volunteer Firemen's Association said in a statement that Reed has been with a volunteer firefighter for 3 1/2 years and he has been suspended from all Association activities, pending the outcome of the investigation.
"Unfortunately, people make bad choices in life, and arson as a firefighter is one of those bad choices," said the Association in the statement. "If he in fact committed the crime then the actions were his own and didn't involve BCVFA or any of the member companies. He'll have to pay for those actions if found guilty."