Teens charged for setting off explosion outside school, Lexington County sheriff says
The search for the people who caused a fiery explosion outside of a Midlands school over the weekend ended when three teenagers surrendered, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday.
Dylan Hank Maples, 19, and Ted William Miller, 18, were charged with possession of an explosive device, the sheriff’s department said in a news release.
The third teen, whose name will not be released because he is under age 18, was charged with the same crime, according to the release.
The incident happened Jan. 29 at Pleasant Hill Elementary School in Lexington, the sheriff’s department said. The Lexington 1 school is near the intersection of Pisgah Church Road and Rawl Road, about three miles from Exit 51 on Interstate 20.
No students were at the school when the trio walked to the back of the building and climbed onto the roof, the sheriff’s department said.
Later, they threw a Molotov cocktail which landed on the pavement and exploded, according to the release.
“Based on information detectives have confirmed during their investigation and interviews with the suspects, the three teens took a sealed Mason jar containing gasoline, that featured a T-shirt as a fuse, to Pleasant Hill Elementary School Jan. 29,” Sheriff Jay Koon said in the release. “They climbed up on top of the school and threw the device on the parking lot, which caused an explosion.”
Surveillance footage shows the men walking up to the blazing fire. They then left the school, the sheriff’s department said.
The three teens turned themselves in to law enforcement Monday night after seeing a social media post and news coverage about the incident, according to Koon.
Maples and Miller were arrested and booked into the Lexington County Detention Center, according to the release. Neither is currently listed on the jail’s inmate roster.
The third teen was released to his parents, and his case will be heard in Lexington County Family Court, the sheriff’s department said.
No injuries were reported.
There was no word if the explosion caused any damage to the school or campus.
Information about a motive for detonating the explosive device was not available.
This was one of several incidents that affected Midlands schools in the past week and a half.
Several schools in Lexington and Richland counties have either been evacuated or placed under a safety protocol after they were targeted by threats, officials said.
The sheriff’s departments in both counties, as well as the Lexington Police Department, said no credible evidence of the threats was found after the law enforcement agencies searched the schools.
There is no information connecting the Molotov cocktail incident to the threats that have been issued.