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Four sought in connection with 'bottle bombs' incident

August 19, 2009

HAGERSTOWN -- Authorities were looking Wednesday for four Hagerstown men who have been charged in connection with an explosion Tuesday morning at a home in the 20100 block of Leitersburg Pike, according to a release from the Maryland State Fire Marshal's office.

The explosion was the result of "bottle bombs" being thrown at the house, the release said.

Evidence gathered at the scene lead investigators to a local Wal-Mart, where a review of surveillance tapes showed five people purchasing material used in making such bombs, the release said.

Hagerstown residents Jeremy Wayne Peel, 27, Mark Anthony Peel, 29, Gregory Oswald, 25, and Samuel Adam Myerly, 25, are charged with manufacturing and possession of a destructive device, the release said.

A fifth individual has not been identified, the release said.

Investigators said the incident occurred at about 3 a.m., while the homeowner and his 8-year-old son were asleep. The homeowner was awakened by the explosions and saw five people standing in his front yard; he chased the individuals but lost sight of them, the release said.

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The explosion didn't injure anyone or cause property damage, Deputy State Fire Marshal Jason Mowbray said Tuesday in a telephone interview.

Chemical reaction bombs, which are built by putting caustic chemicals into a thin plastic container, are often used as pranks, Mowbray said. However, the chemicals used can injure people, and making the bombs is a felony, he said.

The Maryland State Fire Marshal's office and the Washington County Sheriff's Office are working on the case. Anyone with information about the men charged in the case may call Maryland State Police at 301-739-2101.

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