WASHINGTON (AP) — A 20-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a series of dangerous pranks that led to the evacuation of several movie theaters in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs of Washington, authorities said.
Manuel Joyner was arrested Saturday at his home in Bowie and charged in relation to an incident at a movie theater in Largo on May 24, Prince George’s County fire officials said. The theater was evacuated after someone used a device described as a “bottle bomb,” in which baking soda and vinegar or other materials are placed inside a plastic bottle, causing it to explode.
Joyner is also suspected in several similar incidents, fire officials said. On May 18, a multiplex was evacuated in Tysons Corner, Va., after two bottle explosions occurred. Police said acid and metal had been placed inside the bottles.
Another incident occurred at the same theater the following Sunday. The first reported bottle bomb was set off at a theater in Alexandria, Va., in early April.
Joyner has been charged with manufacture, possession and detonation with a destructive device, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison, fire officials said.
A person who answered the phone at Joyner’s home on Sunday said she was unaware of the arrest and did not say whether he had an attorney.
Following his arrest, officials said, Joyner’s home was searched by investigators from several jurisdictions, as well as the FBI and ATF.
Online court records show Joyner pleaded guilty in late 2012 to malicious destruction of property and was given probation before judgment.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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