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Explosives threat case against Hagerstown man going to circuit court

Michael Austin Womack was charged with arson threats, possession of explosives, reckless endangerment and hazardous substances

Michael Austin Womack was charged with arson threats, possession of explosives, reckless endangerment and hazardous substances

December 28, 2009|By BRIDGET DiCOSMO

HAGERSTOWN -- The case of a man charged with threatening to detonate explosives at a local mobile home park was transferred to Washington County Circuit Court earlier this month.

Michael Austin Womack, 34, of 1328 Fairchild Ave. in Hagerstown, was charged in October with arson threats, possession of explosives, reckless endangerment and hazardous substances.

The case was filed in Circuit Court on Dec. 16.

A witness alleged on Oct. 28 that Womack was looking at a Web site about building bombs, and detonating chemical-reaction devices at the mobile home park, according to District Court records.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Ed Ernst said he was called to Northaven Mobile Home Park, along Pennsylvania Avenue north of Hagerstown, to assist with an incident in which Womack had just been evicted from a residence in the park.

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Womack grew irate at the eviction and said no one else was going to live in the home because he would burn it down, court records allege.

Ernst alleged in a complaint filed in District Court that when he went to the mobile home on Oct. 28, he noticed a strong odor of an unknown chemical when he got out of his vehicle.

Inside the mobile home, Ernst alleged he found cut-up pieces of shotgun shells and plastic bottles containing a clear gel that appeared to be causing pressure to build inside the bottles, court records show.

Ernst wrote in the complaint that he began unscrewing the cap on one of the bottles and it started making a hissing sound.

The chemicals were later determined to be a cocktail of acetones and thinners, court records allege

Womack was being held at Washington County Detention Center on Monday. His bond was set at $75,000.




Editor's note: This story was edited March 9, 2010, to correct errors.

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