Fire officials say ‘bottle bomber’ targeted Silver Spring movie theater in May -- Gazette.Net


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A man has been charged in two “bottle bomb” incidents at movie theaters, including one in Silver Spring last month, Montgomery County fire investigators said.

A explosive was set off at around 1 a.m. May 4 at Regal Majestic Stadium 20 at 900 Ellsworth Drive in Silver Spring, Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said.

Manuel Joyner-Bell Jr., 21, of Bowie, was arrested on Saturday on a charge related to a separate incident in Prince George’s County.

Joyner-Bell was charged with the manufacture, possession and detonation of a destructive device in connection with a bottle bomb incident at the AMC Magic Johnson Capital Center 12 in Largo on May 24, Prince George’s fire officials said in a news release.

Montgomery County fire officials charged him Monday afternoon with two counts of manufacturing and possessing a destructive device and two counts of possessing materials to create a destructive device, Piringer said.

Police and fire officials said they are investigating at least four other recent “bottle bomb” incidents in the region to see if they are related, including:

• Cinemark 24 Egyptian at Arundel Mills on March 24

• AMC Hoffman Center 22 in Alexandria, Va. on April 5

• AMC Tysons Corner 16 in Virginia on May 18 and 25.

There were no reports of major injuries in any of the incidents. But law enforcement agencies said at a press conference Monday that the incidents stirred panic among moviegoers.

As of Monday evening, Joyner-Bell was being held in Prince George’s County. His bail was initially set at $50 million, but bail was revoked at a hearing Monday, according to Prince George’s County Fire Department spokesman Mark Brady.



tarnold@gazette.net