Making Pipe Bombs: Not a Good Hobby for a Tacna man

Making Pipe Bombs: Not a Good Hobby for a Tacna man

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YUMA – Finding instructions on how to build a pipe bomb is frighteningly easy. In less than 60 seconds, we found a half-page "How-To" on the Internet, just three-paragraphs long. The first two paragraphs tell you how to build it, the third paragraph gives advice on how to make a bigger boom.

The concept is basic physics. The consequences can be catastrophic.

When we hear the words like "pipe bomb" and "improvised explosive device," many people think about terrorists in places far, far away.

But a pipe bomb (similar to the one pictured) exploded Tuesday night in our own back yard. In Tacna.

"It was a significant explosion," said Captain Eben Bratcher of the Yuma County Sheriff's Office.

It takes little more than a few pieces of pipe and a combustible material to make a pipe bomb. It's a simple recipe for disaster.

"He was playing with a very, very dangerous item," states Capt. Bratcher.

Kobey Coulter, 31, of Tacna found that out the hard way Tuesday night when an IED he made went off.

"There are reports of having heard and felt the explosion from up to a mile away."

Coulter lost his left leg below the knee, and could lose his right leg as well. In a post-9/11 world, it's all-too-easy for our minds to make the leap from pipe bomb builder to terrorist, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

"No, I don't anticipate that there was any nefarious intent for these IEDs," says Capt. Bratcher. "I don't believe it was anything other than entertainment."

It's a form of entertainment that could land Coulter in a wheelchair, and possibly in jail. Captain Bratcher says Coulter could face a variety of charges, including manufacture of an explosive device and public endangerment. Ultimately, it will be up to the District Attorney.

The 3-acre property was swept for additional explosives. Authorities found another pipe bomb and components to make more.

There's a similar story out of Tulsa.

One week ago, a high school student took a pipe bomb to school on the bus, put it in his locker and showed it to friends.

The student told authorities it was a dud that his father helped him build.

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