Driver: pipe bombs in pickup were for July 4th fun

AP News
Posted: Jun 28, 2011 2:37 PM
Driver: pipe bombs in pickup were for July 4th fun

The driver of a pickup truck found to be carrying 10 pipe bombs after it rolled over on a Louisiana highway told authorities he made the devices for some Independence Day revelry and had no malicious intent, a state police spokesman said Tuesday.

"He just claimed he was going to use them for a Fourth of July celebration," Trooper Bryan Zeringue said.

Tony A. Barisich, 53, of Terrytown, faces various state felony charges in connection with the pipe bombs discovered in his truck after Monday's accident. Zeringue said charges filed Tuesday include 10 counts of manufacture and possession of a bomb, improper storage of explosives and reckless handling of explosives.

"He claims he builds and detonates the devices for entertainment purposes _ no malicious intent," Zeringue said. "People don't realize how dangerous these things are."

Barisich was in stable condition at a hospital Tuesday with what police described as moderate injuries. Zeringue said the man would be booked into jail upon his release from the hospital. Bond had not been set as of Tuesday afternoon.

Barisich, who is a boat captain for a marine services company, missed a curve on a state highway and his 1998 GMC pickup struck a guard rail Monday and flipped into a ditch, authorities said. A bomb disposal team took the devices to an empty field and detonated them after burying them that day.

Zeringue said the man made the pipe bombs at his home and was planning to store them in his truck while he was working for the marine services company. There was no sign that the bombs were packed with nails or other material designed to harm someone. Still, Zeringue added, fragments from the pipe bomb could have injured someone.

Barisich has not commented publicly and it was unclear whether he had an attorney.

Federal authorities aided in the investigation.