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Monday, June 2, 2014

Comments From Fire Chief Bashoor Regarding Bottle-Bomber Suspect

Movie theater patrons around the region can breathe a sigh of relief as a suspect has been identified and arrested for using "bottle-bombs."  A multi-agency investigation has led to the arrest of a 20-year old Bowie man that has been charged with Manufacture/Possession/Detonation of a Destructive Device in connection with the Prince George's County incident that occurred early morning May 24, 2014 in Largo. This is a Felony charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in jail if found guilty.

The subject is considered a suspect in multiple movie theater "bottle-bomb" incidents across the region over the past weeks.

Manuel Joyner Bell Jr., 20 years of age, was arrested by officials from the Prince George's County Office of the Fire Marshal (Fire/EMS Department) with assistance from the County Police.  The charges are in connection with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that was detonated at Magic Johnson Movie Theater on May 24, 2014.  

Shortly after the arrest on Saturday, May 31, 2014, investigators from the Prince George's County Office of the Fire Marshal, joined by the Prince George's County Police, ATF, FBI, Anne Arundel County Fire Marshal and County Police, Fairfax County Fire Marshal, City of Alexandria Fire Marshal and the Montgomery County Fire Marshal, executed a search warrant at a home in the 600 block of Stillwater Place, Bowie, Maryland.  In addition to those that assisted in the search local jurisdictions Police Department assisted during this investigation.

Additional charges against Joyner are forthcoming not only from Prince George's County, but from other agencies and jurisdictions as well.

Comments by Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor at Press Conference...

The National Capital Region police and fire Departments are always on high alert. However for the past several weeks, that alert was heightened by the insidious acts of bottle bombs being thrown into crowded movies theaters - creating panic and mayhem and endangering the lives of thousands of people.

Movie goers can indeed rest a little easier with the arrest of 20 year old suspect Manuel Joyner.  Joyner, a Prince George's County resident, was arrested Saturday night by investigators with the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department Office of the Fire Marshal, with an incredible amount of assistance by the Prince George's County Police, the Prince George's County States Attorneys Office, the Anne Arundel County Police and Fire Departments (where we believe the attacks began), the Montgomery County Police and Fire Departments, the Alexandria Police and Fire Departments, the Fairfax County Police and Fire Departments, the ATF and the FBI.  

This widespread of a task force has not been used in the Washington area since the DC area serial arsonist case of 2003 to 2005.  While this is still an active and open investigation, we could not have made such a swift arrest without the cross-jurisdictional cooperation of all of the  agencies previously mentioned.

Manuel Joyner Bell Jr. is being held at the Prince George's County Correctional Facility on the felony charge of manufacture, possession, and detonation of an explosive device, with bond set at $50,000,000.  Joyner likely faces other charges, from other jurisdictions who you'll hear from in just a minute.

Remember, this is still an active and open investigation.  

Bottle-Bomb Press Conference Today

A Press Conference will be held today providing public safety officials an opportunity to discuss incidents and arrest of  a bottle-bomb suspect.  The press conference will be held at 1:30 pm at the Magic Johnson Movie Theatre located at 800 Shoppers Way in Largo at the Boulevard at Cap Centre.

Mark E. Brady