Nassau Police disable improvised “soda bomb” device left near elementary school gate

MERRICK, N.Y. – Nassau County police say several homemade explosives were found not far from a school. 

The alarming discovery was made next to a school gate used by children. 

Nassau Police say it was a student’s father who made the discovery this morning, the last day of school.

Police say the bottle filled with liquid was an improvised explosive device which could have done serious harm had it exploded.

“Multiple improvised explosive devices were found,” Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said. 

Nassau officials don’t know the intent, but say the discovery of four bottles 200 yards from the Norman J. Levy Elementary School is a serious concern. 

One bottle with a liquid inside had a bag of powder on the outside with BBs inside. Mixed together – a soda bomb – police say it could have done serious harm to multiple people. 

“Those BBs would become projectiles. If you threw it into a crowd… it would take a little kids’ eye out,” said Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. “By putting BBs in there, you’ve now made a device that is meant to hurt people.” 

In searching the school field, police found three other already detonated soda bombs. 

Ryder admits it could be just a prank, albeit a dangerous and criminal one, but they are being proactive in the climate of tensions amid two controversial Supreme Court decisions. 

“If you’re at a mass gathering, whether it be a fair, concert, beach, boardwalk, in a park, you see something suspicious, call 911 immediately,” Ryder said. 

A parent also found a knife next to the unexploded device. 

Police will now canvass neighbors for surveillance video, scouring social media, and checking for fingerprints on the bottles. 

There’s no clue as to motive yet. 

“There was a very high level of concern that BBs in that particular device that was not detonated, was meant to do harm and cause mass terror. So that is great cause of concern,” Blakeman said. 

Police emphasize they don’t think the devices have anything specifically to do with the school because it was so far from it, but searched all district schools with bomb detection dogs out of caution.

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