OAKLAND, Calif. – A California man was taken into custody after several police officers were injured when a small IED was thrown their way at a July march. The arrestee reportedly told authorities he gave the explosive device to a teen and told him to throw it.
Giovanni Gaines, 23, was arrested last week for his involvement in the blast. The explosion injured 10 Oakland police officers during a July 23 march. The event was to bring attention to death of Nia Wilson, Lt. James Beere said Thursday, reported the SF Gate.
Wilson had been fatally stabbed at a BART station a day earlier. The homicide initially appeared to be a racially motivated attack, though, it later emerged the suspect had mental health issues.
Police moved in to break up the rally after a group of marchers attacked a man they allegedly thought was a white nationalist, Beere said. As officers tried to de-escalate the hostilities, an IED suddenly flew their way. The resulting explosion injured 10 officers, including Beere, according to the SF Gate.
As a result, police arrested a 13-year-old juvie in connection with the explosion. Following his arrest he reportedly confessed to tossing the device, which was described as an altered M-1000 firework.
Yet the teen quickly pointed fingers. He said he was given the device by an adult who instructed him to “throw it.” Beere said the teen’s account was corroborated by surveillance footage.
“This was, fortunately for us, a rudimentary IED,” Beere said. “Had it used a little bit more skill and ingenuity, it would have caused a lot more damage and serious injuries.”
Gaines was arrested and booked into the Santa Rita Jail on suspicion of possessing a destructive device, a destructive device near a populated location, use of a bomb to destroy property and exploding bomb causing bodily injury, SF Gate reported, citing jail records.
He was being held on $3 million bond.