BOSTON – Police have arrested a 42-year-old homeless man in connection with an explosion that damaged a Boston police cruiser. There were no personal injuries from the explosive attack.
The near-tragedy occurred Friday morning outside a police substation in South Boston. A passing officer spotted a fire burning near the cruiser and moved the vehicle. Two explosions were heard soon afterward, reported Fox News.
William Evans, Boston police commissioner, told the Boston Herald that investigators believe the device involved a propane tank and possibly some fireworks. He referred to the act as “deliberate.”
The Boston Police Department Bomb Squad responded and processed the scene, according to Reuters.
Police were on high alert nationwide Friday as Donald Trump was sworn in as U.S. president. Hundreds of protesters were arrested in Washington as sporadic violence broke out in the capital during the inauguration festivities.
“I think it goes to some of the hatred out there, whether it is because of what has happened across the country, or whether this was personal with him, because he has had some encounters with police,” Evans said. “I don’t know whether it was payback or not.”
The Herald reported that Asim Kieta, formerly of Dorchester, Mass., was arrested Saturday night while sitting in his car in Charlestown.
Surveillance video reportedly shows the suspect walking to and from the police substation Friday morning. After doing so, he gets into his car and drives away. No other investigative details were disclosed.
Kieta faces charges of possessing an explosive device, assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a police officer, and arson of personal property.
“We have who we believe is responsible,” Evans told reporters Sunday. “As far as motive goes, that’s something we’re still looking at.”
Evans is discussing the explosion with the FBI to determine if federal charges should be sought against Kieta, according to the Boston Herald.
(Feature image is file photo)