Police: Man arrested for throwing bombs from moving vehicle on Halloween

One of the devices went off and another was found unexploded, officials said

By Noah Feit
The State (Columbia, S.C.)

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. —A South Carolina man is behind bars for throwing multiple explosives out of a car Saturday, the Aiken County Sheriff's Office said.

One of the bombs went off and another device was found unexploded in a Graniteville neighborhood, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

No injuries were reported, according to the release.

Michael Barnwell, 35, of Williston, was arrested on a charge of attempted murder and another charge of possession of or threatened or attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction for an act of terrorism not resulting in death, jail records show.

Sheriff's deputies said they responded to an emergency call about 3 p.m. in the 700 block of Leitner Street. That's between Midland Valley Golf Club and Gregg Park Civic Center.

The caller told deputies a man driving a green Ford Mustang stopped the car and threw something out of the window before driving off, according to the release. As the man drove away, the object exploded, the sheriff's office said.

The deputies that responded found the second explosive device, and witnesses identified Barnwell as the man driving the Mustang, according to the release.

About 90 minutes later, the car was pulled over while driving about 15 miles away in Aiken, and Barnwell was arrested without incident, the sheriff's office said.

Barnwell is being held at the Aiken County Detention Center where he is waiting for a bond hearing on Sunday, according to court records.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and Richmond County (Georgia) Sheriff's Office assisted in the investigation.

This is not the first time Barnwell has been charged with a bomb-related weapons crime.

Court records show that in 2017 Barnwell pleaded guilty to eight counts of possession, manufacture or transport of a destructive device or explosive or parts for damage, injury or death.

Barnwell also pleaded guilty to five counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor in 2017, according to court records.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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