Barnegat Mayor: Trash Can Explosion Was Not Terrorist-Related
Barnegat Township Mayor John Novak said that an early morning explosion in a trash can Oct. 13 shows no signs of being a terrorist activity.
Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, said that shortly after 1:30 a.m., police received multiple reports of an explosion in the area of Village Drive. Arriving officers found a cloud of smoke emanating from the remnants of a rubber trash can located curbside between 81 Village Drive and 82 Windward Drive with a debris field contained within 10 yards of the area of origin. The explosion caused no injuries, and no damage to surrounding homes or vehicles.
Novak said explosive material recovered at the scene was taken to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms forensic laboratory in Maryland. The ATF, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Det. Brant Uricks, Barnegat Det. MaryAnn Cirulli, the State Police Bomb Unit and the Ocean County Sheriff’s CSI have all been involved in the investigation.
Della Fave said neighbors living near the scene have been interviewed. He said whoever is responsible for the incident would be charged with criminal mischief.
“More serious charges would be filed if there were people injured or property damage,” he said. “The only thing that got damaged was the garbage can.”
Novak said that if the explosion had been terrorist-related, remote detonating devices likely would have been recovered at the scene.
“I have been in touch with law enforcement agencies daily, and we are waiting for the results to come from ATF,” he said.
Mikea Yager, who lives 10 houses away, was awake at the time of the blast.
“It wasn’t a loud crack,” she said. “My first thought was that someone had hit a car. My husband told me we should go and check it out, and there were numerous police cars there, and then people were talking about an explosion.”
Al DiMaio lives closer to the scene, but he said he slept through it.
“But then a friend texted me at 5:30 and told me that police had sealed the area off,” he said. “That trash can had been sitting there for days. It was mostly filled with yard clippings.”
Deputy Mayor Al Bille stopped by after police reopened the area for traffic.
“We’re very fortunate that someone didn’t get injured or worse,” he said. “I’m confident that the police and the many investigators will find who is responsible.”
— Eric Englund