Prank Goes Awry; Three Injured in W.Va. Store

July 23--A prank gone wrong sent one person to jail and another to the hospital, according to a criminal complaint from the Raleigh County Magistrate Court. Two others were injured.

Bill Lee Jarrell, 58, of Rock Creek, was arrested and charged with possession of an explosive device, criminal use of an explosive device, committing terrorist hoaxes, three counts of wanton endangerment with an explosive device, and three counts of causing injury with an explosive device.

Police received a call Tuesday, alleging Jarrell had set off an explosive at the Little General in Rock Creek.

When they made it to the scene, officers found a melted plastic bottle and burnt aluminum foil. Employees told the officers they knew Jarrell had set off the device, according to the complaint.

When the device went off, gases from the explosion were sucked through the store's ventilation system. Three employees suffered first-degree burns to their chest and severe eye irritation, the complaint said. Two were treated on the scene and one was taken to the hospital.

Jarrell was taken into custody where he admitted that he was playing a joke on a friend sitting outside the store and that he meant no one any harm. Jarrell said he took full responsibility for setting off the device. He said he learned to make the device from the Internet and that it was made of a plastic bottle, aluminum foil and toilet bowl cleaner. Jarrell said it was only a joke and he never intended to hurt or harm anyone.

Jarrell is in Southern Regional Jail on $25,000 bond.

-- E-mail: cneff@register-herald.com

Copyright 2014 - The Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va.

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