Juvenile arrested in South Hills mailbox bomb investigation
One juvenile has been arrested and charged after surveillance video captured someone placing an explosive device inside a mailbox on Loudon Heights Road over the weekend.
Sgt. Tony Hazelett said the juvenile was arrested Monday evening and charged with criminal use of a destructive device. Hazelett declined to say whether the juvenile was a male or female and/or how old he or she is.
In the early-morning hours on Saturday, a four-door Jeep Wrangler pulled up to a mailbox at 1810 Loudon Heights Road. It appears, from video taken by a surveillance camera at the home, that two white males were inside the Jeep.
They placed a device inside the box, according to a news release. On the video, the passenger hands the driver a lighter and the driver lights the device. A few minutes later, there is an explosion followed by a second, larger explosion, according to the release. Police do not yet know what type of device was used.
The homeowner uploaded the surveillance video to YouTube in hopes of identifying the suspects.
The home is owned by Richard Rashid and his wife, Jane. The Rashids’ children, Sydney, LeRoy and George were at the residence Monday. Sydney Rashid, 14, said she believes the incident was a prank and isn’t fearing for her safety.
“We just think it’s some crazy kids,” Sydney Rashid said.
The explosion destroyed the mailbox and scattered pieces over their yard, she said, and some pieces went onto their porch. She doesn’t believe her home was targeted for any particular reason, only that the mailbox is secluded and the home’s security cameras are disguised by trees.
“I guess they thought they could get away with it,” she said.
Her family is related to Dr. Mitchell Rashid and Kamilla L. Rashid, the owners of Top-O-Rock, Charleston’s iconic glass house. Earlier this month, that house was found vandalized with entire windowpanes shattered and graffiti sprayed inside.
Sydney Rashid doesn’t believe that vandalism is connected to the device left inside her family’s mailbox. “He’s my uncle, and we don’t have anything to do with that house,” she said.
Hazelett said police expect more people will faces charges related to the incident.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Charleston Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at 304-348-6480.
Reach Travis Crum at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5163.