Officer finds small bomb in Federal Building lot

John Day Police Officer Cody Weaver discovered a suspected explosive device in the Federal Building's parking lot off Patterson Bridge Road Monday evening, May 31. The Eagle/Tim Adams

JOHN DAY - Acts of potential terrorism are not confined to major cities or the Middle East.

John Day Police Officer Cody Weaver discovered what was determined to be a small, homemade explosive device intended to ignite or burst upon impact in the parking lot of Federal Offices on Patterson Bridge Road while on routine patrol, said Acting Police Chief Rich Tirico Monday evening, May 31.

The device was described as being about the size of a tennis ball, designed to ignite or burst on impact.

"Although it was small, the device did have the potential to cause minor damage or injury," Tirico said.

The privately owned office building is leased by the Malheur National Forest and also houses employees of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and the Bureau of Land Management.

Dwight Johnson, Malheur National Forest patrol captain, said it appeared the device had been thrown against the building but did not go off. Investigators report there was no immediate danger to employees, and business operations in the surrounding area were not disrupted.

Tirico said full details are being withheld pending further investigation. There is no information connecting the device to the recent vandalism of equipment at the Monument No. 1 and No. 2 salvage sites in Baker County.

"Investigation into the incident is being conducted by U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers, and if anyone has information about this device they should contact the John Day City Police at (541) 575-0030 or Forest Service Law Enforcement at (541) 575-3399," Tirico said.

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