On Saturday evening, a member of the alt-left nearly obliterated a confederate memorial.
In Houston, a suspicious man was quickly apprehended by local police after he was spotted trying to tether homemade explosives onto a statue honoring Richard Dowling, a confederate war-hero.
A park ranger happened to be nearby, when he saw 25-year-old Andrew Schneck holding two boxes with duct-tape and wires, along with a bottle and a small tube containing explosive compounds.
Schneck’s arrest comes after events in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a white supremacist rally over the removal of a Confederate statue resulted in three deaths, and the removals of other statues nationwide, including at Duke University and late Sunday evening at the University of Texas at Austin.
Schneck was charged with attempting to maliciously damage or destroy property receiving federal financial assistance. He made his initial court appearance on Monday and was to remain in federal custody until a detention hearing on Thursday.
Philip Hilder, Schneck’s attorney, declined to comment Monday.
The statue in Houston, located in Hermann Park, is of Richard W. “Dick” Dowling, an Ireland-born Houston saloon owner. His Confederate unit defeated a Union invasion force at the Battle of Sabine Pass in 1863. Dowling was hailed as a war hero in Houston, and the end of the war saw him resume his successful business career until his death in 1867.
Authorities allege that Schneck was caught with a plastic bottle with what is likely nitroglycerin, an active ingredient in the manufacture of explosives, and with a small aluminum tube that contained a white powder that tests showed was Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, which is used as an initiating or primary explosive. When he was confronted by the park ranger, Schneck tried to drink the bottle that had the nitroglycerin but spit out the liquid and then poured it out on the ground.
The Houston police bomb squad said a timer, wires connected to a homemade detonator, battery and the Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine found in Schneck’s possession “were capable to produce a viable explosive device,” according to the criminal complaint.
Schneck told police he had other chemicals at his Houston home. On Monday, houses located near Schneck’s home had been evacuated as authorities worked to dispose of materials found in his home, where he lives with this mother.
According to court documents, Schneck has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Austin College in Sherman, Texas.
Schneck’s mother told authorities that her son uses one of their properties “to conduct his chemistry experiments,” according to the criminal complaint.
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