Houston man arrested, accused of attempting to blow up Confederate statue

Aug 23, 2017, 00:41
Houston man arrested, accused of attempting to blow up Confederate statue

A 25-year old man who allegedly planned to blow up a Confederate statue in Houston, Texas has been arrested, authorities said Monday, as debate raged in the United States over what to do with the nation's Civil War-era symbols.

Schneck has been charged with attempting to maliciously damage or destroy property receiving financial assistance.

Federal prosecutors said on Saturday night a park ranger spotted Schneck kneeling in bushes in front of the general Dowling Monument in Houston's Hermann Park. Schneck "then proceeded to drink from the bottle, then immediately spit the liquid on the ground next him. then proceeded to pour the contents of the bottle on the ground next to him".

"He was on a five-year probation based on his unlawful storage and handling of explosive materials", Borkovich said.

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Federal investigators swarmed near Schneck's house on Monday.

This is not the first time Schneck has faced charges related to explosives. A criminal complaint against Schneck outlined that the latter susbstance is a "high explosive organic compound used as an initiating, or primary explosive". According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Scheck had been conducting "chemistry experiments" inside his parents' $2.1 million home.

At one point, 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. The park ranger said that Schneck admitted to wanting to do harm to the Dowling statue because he did not "like that guy". Hutchinson noted that HTMD can be used as an initiatory or prime explosive. On Monday morning, officials with emergency management for the City of Houston ordered the evacuation of the residential block around the home where suspected bomb-making materials were found.

"This is an evolving situation, with an ongoing investigation", said Philip Hilder told the Chronicle.

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Explosives found in the home where Schneck lives were detonated by bomb squad experts. "It would be premature to comment at this time since we have not seen the evidence".

According to court documents, Schneck has a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Austin College in Sherman, Texas.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.

If convicted, he faces five to 40 years in federal prison with a $250,000 fine.

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