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Police arrest suspect in Stafford pipe bombings

Police have arrested Laurence Stewart, a suspect in three pipe bombings in Stafford. (Courtesy of the Stafford County Sheriff\'s Office)

WASHINGTON – The man wanted for three pipe bombings in Stafford County has been arrested in Montana after setting off two bombs during a pursuit, police say.

Laurence Stewart II was spotted in near Great Falls, Mont. where authorities attempted to make a traffic stop. Police say he then set off a pipe bomb, fled and was captured two miles away.

According to a news release, Stewart threw a “number of pipe bombs” at officers during the pursuit.

After his car was disabled by officers, Stewart fled on foot armed with a handgun before he was arrested.

“Stewart will be brought back [to Virginia] to face charges, and will face charges in Montana for deploying two devices,” says Rich Marianos, with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Stafford County Sheriff Charles Jett says Stewart is accused of throwing three pipe bombs in Virginia, aimed at an ex-girlfriend and two law enforcement officers who had arrested him for two other crimes.

“This man is a serious danger and threat to society, and has already attempted to murder two law enforcement officers, their families and citizens,” Jett says.

Stewart is accused of bombing a total of three houses, including his ex- girlffriend’s house in Stafford County, the former house of a Stafford County law officer in Fredericksburg and the house of a sheriff’s deputy who lives in Stafford County. No one was injured in any of the bombings.

“Those bombs were manufactured to kill and they were absolutely capable of doing that,” Marianos says.

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow Hank Silverberg and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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