RICHLANDS, VA.- Remember when mom or dad told you not to play with explosives?
Neither do we.
However, a Virginia man probably should have been given that advice, as he accidentally blew his hand off while playing with an incendiary device which authorities learned may have been intended to ill women, according to a federal affidavit.
Fox 13 reported that Cole Carini, 23, of Richlands was arrested last month and charged with one count of lying to federal agents, according to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia.
According to U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen, Carini checked into a health clinic suffering from significant injuries to his hands and fingers; one hand was missing, as were several fingers from the other hand. Carini also suffered shrapnel wounds to his neck and throat, the news release said.
Carini was rushed to Clinch Valley Medical Center in Richlands, where he told police that the injuries had been suffered in a lawnmower accident at his home
However, when authorities searched Carini’s home, they found otherwise, according to an arrest affidavit. Officers said that they found the grass to be overgrown, with grass six inches high and no signs of the lawn being recently mowed.
In Carini’s bedroom, police found a footlocker that contained a plastic bottle containing triacetone triperoxide, which an FBI agent noted, is an explosive used to crate IED’s, or improvised explosive devices.
Found adjacent to the footlocker was a box of rusty nails, which could be used as shrapnel or projectiles in an IED.
“Adjacent to the nails on the floor was a blistered plastic container. The top of the container had been peeled back in a manner consistent with an explosion,” Special Agent Neil Schimke wrote.
In addition, blinds inside the room had cut marks that were consistent with shrapnel having gone through them, Schimke said.
“Near the blinds was a t-shirt with the same cut marks. On the ceiling above the plastic container was a red substance believed to be blood splattered on the ceiling, along with a skin colored chunk believed to be flesh,” Schimke wrote.
He also noted that the wall appeared to be splattered with blood.
FBI agents searching the home found blood droplets leading from the bedroom, down the stairway and out the front door. They also saw blood on and inside a red minivan parked next to the door of the home.
Virginia State troopers, Tazewell County sheriff’s deputies, along with the FBI conducted a perimeter check of the property in order to look for potential sites where bombs were tested, according to the affidavit. They found a red shed next door behind Carini’s grandmother’s home.
“While inspecting the red shed from the railroad tracks that ran behind the shed, agents and investigators identified several items that gave probable cause to obtain a search warrant for the shed, including a surveillance system, PVC pipes, pieces of loose wires, empty chemical containers, extension cables and a pit that appeared to have loose soil surrounding it consistent with the site of an explosion,” Schimke wrote in the affidavit.
The shed also contained empty chemical containers, coffee filters, switches, a hot plate, and a container which held an unidentified liquid. There were coffee cups next to the hot plate that contained a white, crystalline residue within.
Outside, authorities located a crumpled-up letter that contained what they described as disturbing scenarios of revenge against women.
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“He casually walked through the shopping mall. His jacket concealed deadly objects.”
“He had…of tension that would come and go as he now approached the stage of hot cheerleaders.”
“Even if he died, this statement was worth it!”
“ A dead seriousness sank in as he realized that he was truly passing the point of no return.”
“He decided, ‘I will not back down. I will not be afraid of the consequences, no matter what. I will be heroic. I will make a statement like Elliot Rogers did,’ he thought to himself.”
The last statement referred to a man named Elliot Rodger, 22, who killed six people and injured another 14 in a stabbing and shooting in 2014 in California. Rodger had targeted women as punishment for his romantic rejections.
In addition, he targeted men whom he felt to have more luck with women than he did.
Rodger posted a video on YouTube in which he complained about his virginity, prior to killing himself in his BMW. He had also sent several acquaintances a 141-page document in which he detailed his childhood, his mental health and finally his hatred of women.
This document has apparently become somewhat of an instruction manual to a community of online men referred to as “incels,” or “Involuntarily celibate.” Apparently Rodger inspired other violent acts, including an April 2018 attack in Toronto where the driver of a van, Alek Minassian, killed 10 pedestrians and injured 16 more by driving onto a sidewalk and running them down.
Minassian was supposed to stand trial in April, however it has been postponed due to the coronavirus, according to CVT News.
FBI agents questioned Carini a second time at Roanoke Memorial Hospital and asked again how he was injured, according to the arrest affidavit. They told Carini what they had found at his home.
“When asked if he remembered what happened to put him in the hospital, Carini told the agents he was mowing his yard and the mower flipped over in such a way that it drug his hands into the blades, and because the blades were spinning so fast, it acted like a bomb,” Schimke wrote.
Carini admitted that he had previously been in legal trouble for making explosives. The affidavit noted that state police, as well as Tazewell County Sheriff’s office officials had already been watching Carini due to his past dalliances with explosives.
The affidavit noted that Carini was on probation until September for a conviction related to making explosives.
Carini denied knowing of anything that could explode when questioned about the chemicals found in his home.
For a third time, Carini was asked how he was injured and “he repeated his story about a lawnmower accident,” the affidavit said. “On several occasions during the interview, Carini was confronted with additional details of the explosion that had occurred in his room, and each time, Carini again repeated the lawnmower story.”
Due to the recovery of evidence found at his home and within his grandmother’s shed, Carini was charged with lying to investigators. The charge carries up to five years in prison.
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