Georgia Tech Bomber Was a Prankster, Not a Terrorist

ATLANTA, Explosive devices planted on the Georgia Tech campus Oct. 10 by a student were intended to be pranks, says a “Free Tad” home page, named for Theodore Hollet, 18, the student responsible for making and planting the devices.

Often referred to as water bombs, these devices are water bottles filled with commercially available dry ice and water, the combination of which can explode or burst when impacting the ground. According to the home page, Georgia Tech students frequently throw water bombs from their dorm windows as pranks.

Hollet was following the example of several other students who had made similar devices the week before. Hollet threw several – possibly 12 – water bombs out of his dormitory window, only to discover that many did not explode.

When he realized that some of the devices were still intact, Hollet retrieved them, but missed three. One of the three water bombs was then discovered by a campus custodian two days later. The device, which was in a plastic bag and looked like trash, exploded and the custodian was taken to the hospital with ringing in his ears.

Two other devices were later found and detonated by the bomb squad, and it was feared the devices might have been planted by a terrorist. Two nearby dormitories were also evacuated.

Soon after the commotion, Hollet came forward, telling police he had made the bombs. He was charged with possession of destructive devices and reckless conduct. According to school officials, he was also placed on interim suspension and faces a disciplinary hearing.

In response to Hollet’s arrest, a coalition of students has come forward to vouch for his good character. They are asking that police stop calling him a terrorist and accept that this was prank gone terribly wrong.

Hollet, a nuclear and radiological engineering major, is currently out on bail and has been ordered to stay away from the Georgia Tech campus until the end of his suspension.

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