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Bomb Suspect Waives Right to Court Hearing

by on August 21, 2014 1:40 PM

The man police say possessed a pipe bomb in his SUV earlier this month in Ferguson Township waived his right to a hearing Wednesday.

Frederick Rice, 53, of Harrisburg, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday before Magisterial District Judge Leslie Dutchcot at the Centre County Courthouse.

Ferguson Township police arrested Rice Aug. 6 after a friend of his reported to authorities Rice had an explosive device in his SUV, which was parked in the 200 block of Wyandotte Lane in the Piney Ridge development.

The bomb was roughly 12 inches long and contained a "large amount of gun powder" and was "capable of causing substantial harm" according to the criminal complaint. Rice reportedly planned to attach the bomb to a car belonging to his wife's "paramour" and set it off by remote control.

Police charged Rice with weapons of mass destruction, possession of explosives, prohibited offensive weapons and recklessly endangering another person.

The call for help went out at 12:45 p.m. Aug. 6. At first, police blocked Wyandotte Lane, while waiting for the Penn State Bomb Squad and the Pennsylvania State Police Bomb Squad to arrive.

Once in place, authorities determined there was a large pipe bomb in the passenger compartment of Rice's Ford Explorer. The vehicle's windows were covered with strips of duct tape to stop flying glass in case of an explosion. X-rays of the device convinced explosives experts that it was a live bomb.

Police evacuated residents in roughly 15 nearby homes just after 5 p.m. while the bomb was disabled. The Pine Grove Mills Lion's Club was opened up so the evacuees had a place to wait.

Authorities eventually disabled the bomb without it detonating. Residents were allowed back in their homes shortly after 7 p.m.

Rice is being held at the Centre County Correctional Facility in lieu of $500,000 bail.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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