At 2:31 a.m. Saturday, a young man threw a 2 liter bottle with exposed aluminum foil and duct tape onto the concrete steps of Heath Gault’s home at 350 Wellesley Drive.
About 45 seconds later, the homemade acid bomb exploded etching the porch’s concrete surface.
“It splattered all over everything,” Gault said. “It didn’t do a whole lot of damage, but it could have if somebody had stepped out there.”
The sound of the bomb detonating was loud enough to wake Gault’s neighbors, but the Gaults were not home at the time. Gault returned about midnight Saturday, nearly 22 hours after the bomb exploded, to discover the remnants of the bomb made of a plastic bottle, Drano and tin foil, according to Gault and a police report filed Sunday.
Video from the Gault’s home shows a four-door car pulled up in front of the house and a white man ran to the front porch to toss the bottle.
“Maybe a minute after he threw it, it exploded,” Gault said.
The bomb at Gault’s home is in a subdivision surrounded by neighbors, he said.
The bomb is the first of its kind that Assistant Fire Chief Mike Winter remembers for 2012, he said Monday. The bombs are common and can explode on the bomb maker, taking off fingers. Acid bombs can be fatal, Winter said.
The most-recent bomb is reminiscent of a rash of easy-to-make, acid bombs that plagued Conway about four or five years ago, Winter said. Those bombs were placed in mailboxes and on front doors. No one was hurt by the acid bombs, and Winter could not remember anyone being caught for the crimes.
“Unless you see someone doing it, then it’s pretty hard to catch somebody,” Winter said.
Conway Police Department spokeswoman La Tresha Woodruff said information on the bomb and the past bombs was unavailable Monday.
Gault said police took the bottle and another container to be checked for prints.
The police report describes the video as “unclear,” but Gault said the bomb maker, who made the bomb in the street, appeared to be a young man, possibly a juvenile.
Gault said people had egged his home and done Halloween-type pranks to his home previously, but the acid bomb is too serious to be a prank. He plans to prosecute whoever threw the bomb, he said.
“It’s too far,” Gault said. “It’s more than a prank.”