Just a day after a bomb scare rocked the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta, a student was taken into custody after he admitted to producing the homemade soda-bottle bombs in his dorm room.
Freshman Theodore Hollot turned himself in to campus police Tuesday and now faces a felony charge for possession of a destructive device and a misdemeanor charge for reckless conduct after he confessed to tossing at least three soda-bottle bombs out of his second-story dorm room window on the school's east campus. Both acts are punishable under Georgia law, and if convicted, the 18-year-old could be facing some time behind bars.
Hollot, an engineering major, is also awaiting a student judiciary hearing and has been temporarily suspended from the university until further notice, according to a statement from the school.
A Georgia Tech janitor who came across one of the bombs was slightly hurt when he picked up a two-liter soda bottle that exploded in his hands. He was quickly taken to a clinic for an evaluation and was released soon after with only minor injuries, officials said.
Roughly 100 students were also temporarily evacuated from two residence halls as a safety precaution after the explosion, as some school officials and Atlanta police worried the bombs may have been the work of terrorists.
"It is a terrorist act at this point, and depending on the outcome of the investigation, it potentially could become a federal violation as well," Atlanta police officer C.W. Moss told reporters Monday.
Georgia Tech police were immediately notified of the incident, and the Atlanta police and fire departments were also called in to further investigate the scene. Two more bottle explosives were found in the same area and were detonated by the police's bomb squad, according to the school.
Officials eased concerns Tuesday as they stated the incident "was not in any way the work of a terrorist group." Meanwhile the Georgia Tech campus has resumed to business as usual as Atlanta police continue investigating what was in the bottles.
"While this incident unfortunately was frightening for many Georgia Tech students and employees, it turned out to be an excellent test of Tech's emergency preparedness program," officials said in a statement. "All emergency response efforts functioned exceedingly well, and Tech has every confidence that would be the case if such an incident occurred in the future."