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Man with pipe bomb arrested hours before Akron vigil for Charlottesville victims

Posted: 5:27 PM, Aug 21, 2017
Updated: 2017-08-22 18:42:59Z

An Akron man was arrested with a pipe bomb and another explosive device just hours before hundreds gathered in the city to honor the victims of the Charlottesville, Virginia attack.

A 26-year-old man is facing charges that include possession of a dangerous ordnance and and carrying a concealed weapon.

His Wednesday afternoon arrest, which was about four miles from the Downtown Akron vigil site, prompted the Summit County Bomb Squad to sweep areas near Mill and Main streets where an estimated 500 people had gathered to pray and show unity. Nothing concerning was discovered during the search and the 8 p.m. ceremony continued as planned.

Akron police, along with FBI and ATF agents, have also launched a thorough investigation to determine if there was any connection between the explosive devices found in a Ford Fusion and the planned memorial.

According to an arrest report, the man was inside his car just before 4 p.m. on Druid Walk when an Ohio State Highway Patrol K9 alerted on the vehicle.

During a search of the car, investigators found suspected meth and an unknown white substance.

More concerning, a pipe bomb and one other explosive device, which appeared to be a homemade firework, were located in a backseat bag.

Court documents also revealed that black powder was seized, along with a knife that was concealed on the suspect.

He's being held in the Summit County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

Akron police would not comment on the case on Monday. FBI spokesperson Vicki Anderson said, "It's our policy not to confirm or deny any possible ongoing investigation."

Councilwoman Tara Mosley-Samples, who attended the vigil, saw the bomb-sniffing dogs and police converge on the vigil and knew something was up.

"I want them to get to the bottom of it immediately. Whether it was an immediate and direct threat to that vigil, there was some intent for something," Mosely-Samples said. "Why would your ride around with a pipe bomb?"