Mom, Teens Charged in Exploding Pen at School

PHOTO A North Carolina teenager, his brother and his mother have been charged with several felony counts for possession of weapons of mass destruction in connection with a school prank that seriously injured a student and three firefighters this week.
Share
Copy

A North Carolina teenager, his brother and his mother have been charged with several felony counts for possession of weapons of mass destruction in connection with an exploding pen that seriously injured a student and three firefighters.

Jessie Bauguess, 16, is accused of bringing the exploding pen to Turning Point Academy in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday.

Police said Bauguess used information from the Internet to learn how to turn a pen into a weapon.

The device injured a 15-year-old boy after the pen he took from a cup on his teacher's desk exploded. The extent of the injuries wasn't revealed by police.

"All he did was go get a pen. So he could do his classroom work. I mean, you're not expecting a pen to blow up in your face," said the mother of the injured boy, who declined to be identified.

The pen contained triacetone triperoxide, also known as TATP -- the same explosive used by Richard Reid, the shoe bomber.

Bauguess made his first court appearance Wednesday to face charges of malicious use of explosives with injury, malicious use of explosives with damage to property, possession of a weapon on school grounds and three counts of arson/unlawful burning resulting in injury to a firefighter, according to ABC affiliate WSOC.

He is currently being held on a $500,000 bond.

Bauguess' 15-year-old brother was taken into custody and also charged with malicious use of explosives following a police search.

"They were apparently playing with or using very dangerous chemicals that could result in an explosion," said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Captain Gregg Collins.

On Wednesday, Bauguess' mother, Tracy Bauguess turned herself in after police searched the family's home and reported finding a significant amount of explosives.

During the search, a small amount of TATP spontaneously detonated and injured three firefighters. The firefighters were treated and released.

She was charged with three counts of malicious injury and possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

Bauguess' grandmother told the Charlotte Observer newspaper Wednesday that her grandson did not intend to harm anyone.

"The way I understand it, he was trying to scare someone as a prank," Elaine Cochran told the newspaper. "It was a sorry prank."

Easy to Make Explosives

It's easier than you might think to make an exploding pen.

ABC News decided to find out just how easy it is to make TATP.

On YouTube, there are several pen-related pranks and how-to demonstrations.

A simple Internet search turned up the ingredients. It took less than 15 minutes to buy the ingredients at the pharmacy and hardware store, all for under $20.

Islamic militants refer to the explosives the teen allegedly used as the "mother of Satan."

Police said the amount in the Bauguess family's home was capable of causing extreme damage and loss of life in the community.

The victim's mother said she will not allow her son to return to the school.

"He's scared, you know, he's really scared," she said.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11933750. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11933750. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11933750.
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...