Law enforcement officials arrested a man in Houston Monday for allegedly trying to blow up a Confederate statue over the weekend with liquid explosives.
Andrew Schneck, 25, faces charges of attempting to maliciously damage or destroy property receiving federal financial assistance after he was arrested on Saturday night allegedly trying to blow up a statue of Confederate officer Richard Dowling in Hermann Park, the United States Attorney’s Office announced in a statement on Monday.
According to the complaint, a Houston park ranger spotted Schneck on the ground near the General Dowling Monument where he was allegedly holding “two small boxes with various items inside to include what appeared to be duct tape and wires.”
Schneck initially complied with the ranger’s request to drop what he was holding but then tried to drink what turned out to be liquid explosives from a plastic bottle.
The ranger called the Houston Police Department (HPD) who conducted a series of field tests upon arriving on the scene:
The clear liquid was field tested as was a white powdery substance found in a small, black aluminum tube which revealed they were most likely nitroglycerin and Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD), respectively, according to the charges. HMTD is a high explosive organic compound used as an initiating, or primary explosive. Nitroglycerin has been used as an active ingredient in the manufacture of explosives. ln its pure form, nitroglycerin is a contact explosive, with physical shock causing it to explode, which degrades over time to even more unstable forms. Nitroglycerin is highly dangerous to transport or use. ln its undiluted form, it is one of the world’s most powerful explosives.
Schneck was released from probation in 2016 after being convicted in 2015 for crimes involving storing explosives, the Houston Chronicle noted.
The statement from the USAO indicated that if convicted, Schneck faces “a minimum of five and up to 40 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.”