Police are looking for an Edmond man accused of making anti-government statements and plotting to blow up city utilities with chemicals found in his mobile home.
An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday for Charles Jayden Columbus, 24, after he was charged in Oklahoma County District Court with third-degree arson, court records show.
Columbus was charged with a crime after investigators found “obvious charring on and around” the lock to a city water well hatch in the 900 block of S Bryant Avenue, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the charge.
A roommate told Edmond police he saw Columbus mix the chemicals and pour them on the “exterior locking mechanism” of a concrete building on the northeast side of Hafer Park investigators identified as a city water well site.
Matthew Laduke said Columbus “tried to burn off the lock on the hatch,” but when the chemical mixture exploded and began to burn, “they ran away, afraid,” according to the affidavit.
Investigators serving a narcotics search warrant last month at a mobile home in the 600 block of Vista Lane found a “large amount” of possible chemicals, including bags marked potassium nitrate, sodium nitrate, aluminum powder, red iron oxide, and calcium carbonate limestone, police reported. The chemicals can be “used as components of explosives and other incendiary mixtures” and are “very dangerous if not handled properly,” a bomb technician wrote in the affidavit.
Laduke, when questioned by police, said Columbus ordered the chemicals online and talked about using them to “blow up phone poles and power boxes” around Hafer Park, the affidavit states.
The roommate said Columbus had made anti-government statements and wanted to use the explosives to cause damage to utilities, police reported.