TWO INDIANA teenagers were arrested April 1 after setting off what they described as a “works bomb.”
According to Savannah-Chatham Metro police, the teens said they set out to “wreak havoc and destruction in Savannah, Georgia.” They set off the chemical mixture, causing an explosion behind Pride Pool and Spa in the Savannah Festival shopping center near Georgia 204 and Interstate 95.
Surveillance video captured the teens’ every move on tape. Police arrested Taylor Sandlin and Kenneth Smock, both 17, shortly after they returned to the scene of the explosion to video police and firefighters at work.
A West Chatham Precinct sergeant spotted the pair at a convenience store not far away. They were in the car captured on the pool store’s video surveillance.
They was taken into custody without incident. Police also recovered the camcorder the teens used to record their actions.
Sandlin and Smock were arraigned April 2 in Recorder’s Court. The judge set each of their bonds at $10,000 and barred them from Chatham County, with the exception of court appearances, upon release.
The teens had been in Savannah less than 24 hours before setting off the explosion. Both reside in Indianapolis, and Metro investigators are working with Indianapolis authorities to see if the two are linked to several similar incidents captured on Sandlin’s and Smock’s own camcorder.
• The cast iron fence at the southern end of Colonial Park Cemetery was damaged April 1 when a drunk driver plowed into it.
Gregory Foley, 21, a solider at Fort Stewart, lost control of his 1995 Ford Mustang, which then careened onto the burial grounds at the corner of Abercorn and Perry streets. The car rolled over at least one headstone after destroying 20 feet of fence.
A witness who saw the crash notified an officer who was patrolling the area. The accident occurred shortly before 3 a.m. When the officer arrived, he found Foley standing outside his car about 15 to 20 feet inside the cemetery. Foley was unsteady on his feet and reeked of alcohol.
A preliminary breath test indicated the Iraq veteran’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. Foley was arrested after he refused medical treatment and further testing.
The fence and headstone will be repaired, and the city will seek reimbursement from Foley.
• A Timbers Way resident complained that his wife had become violent with him, and said he wanted a restraining order.
Upon arrival, an officer spoke with the wife, who said she had an argument with her husband over the way he was feeding their child. She said at one point, her husband pointed his finger against her head, and she pointed her finger against him.
She said that as she did that, her husband twisted her finger, and admitted she became agitated and slapped his face. The woman said her finger was no longer hurting.
The husband said his wife hit him during the argument, but the officer didn’t see any injuries. He denied hurting his wife’s finger, and said he didn’t even point at her. The man said he had moved out of the residence and wouldn’t return.
• One of Savannah’s K-9 crime-fighters was laid to rest March 31.
Bruno, the first of five Belgian Malinois to start the department’s K-9 Unit in 2001, was diagnosed with an untreatable form of cancer in February. The diagnosis forced early retirement, ending nearly seven years of service.
Credited with more than 265 arrests and assists, 78 evidence searches, 96 tracking missions, 525 narcotic searches and 216 building searches, Bruno retired as honorary K-9 Sergeant on Feb. 27. His handler, Sgt. Greg Ernst, made the decision to have his partner euthanized to prevent suffering.
Ernst and the rest of the department’s K-9 family assembled Monday for a private burial at the horse stables on Dean Forest Road. A headstone has been ordered for Bruno’s grave site and will be installed at a future date.
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