Explosive evacuates high school

  • Follow Metro

Police arrested an 18-year-old Westside High School senior Wednesday after a homemade explosive device was discovered in his bookbag.

Raymond Charles Smalley: 18-year-old senior was arrested after the device was found in his bookbag at Westside High School.  Special
Special
Raymond Charles Smalley: 18-year-old senior was arrested after the device was found in his bookbag at Westside High School.

After hours of interviews and testing of the device, Richmond County authorities charged Raymond Charles Smalley, 18, of the 2600 block of Smith Creek Road, with possession of an explosive or destructive device with intent to kill, injure or intimidate individuals or destroy public buildings, possession of a weapon on school property and carrying a concealed weapon.

The device - a can of waterproofer with a fuse inserted in the top - was found when school Principal Tim Spivey searched Mr. Smalley's bookbag.

The discovery prompted officials to evacuate the school shortly before 8:30 a.m. Students and faculty waited in the nearby Redwing Rollerway parking lot as bomb squad personnel searched the rest of the school.

Mr. Smalley's bookbag was searched after a teacher said she saw him put a portable video game system into it. School system policy forbids video game systems on campus.

Maj. Ken Autry said investigators spent the afternoon interviewing the friends and family of Mr. Smalley to "take a step beyond" the student's original statement.

He said the young man claimed he found the bottle while cleaning up his house and brought it to detonate once class was out.

The device was later examined by the bomb squad, which said it could have detonated, according to a statement released by the sheriff's office.

"The bomb techs looked at it and said it was capable of exploding because it only had to be lit, and I understand that he had a lighter in his pocket," Maj. Autry said.

"Obviously the situation has been diffused but we do have to look deeper into this incident."

He said that it does not appear that anyone knew Mr. Smalley was carrying the device nor was anyone else involved.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (56) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 05/24/07 - 08:06 am
0
0
what are these kids thinking.

what are these kids thinking. if he blows it up does he really think that will change things?

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 05/24/07 - 08:07 am
0
0
He's an OLD looking 18 yo.

He's an OLD looking 18 yo.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 05/24/07 - 08:13 am
0
0
This kid is a dumb kid, one

This kid is a dumb kid, one who is funny, flirts, is nice to people and has a lot of friends. He's definitely not n Eric Harris / Dylan Kleibold kind of guy, so all his buds are in shock. I really hope this turns out to be an act of incredible stupidity rather than maliciousness and that his life isn’t over two days before he was supposed to take wing.

mycomments
318
Points
mycomments 05/24/07 - 08:55 am
0
0
Ray is not the brightest kid

Ray is not the brightest kid on the block. He is a nice kid and very friendly. It was also a shock to me. But I believe it was a funny prank to him and he did not realize the seriousness of what he was doing. Come on, why in the world would he say he brought it to detonate once class was out if he really intended on hurting someone? Would a smart kid really say(or admit) this to the police? He thought it was going to be a funny prank, that's all. Unfortunately, he's an 18 year old adult who has made a serious mistake in judgement.

drlove30906
0
Points
drlove30906 05/24/07 - 09:12 am
0
0
Where are all of the diehard

Where are all of the diehard posts that are normally placed on-line concerning actions such as his. The ones asking that he be placed under the jail and even fried. I only see one. Does his actions not merit some serious action on the part of the authorities?

usc1rules
0
Points
usc1rules 05/24/07 - 09:24 am
0
0
Prank or no prank....Nice kid

Prank or no prank....Nice kid or not.....No like the columbine kids or not...with all that has happend with schools in the past years we can't and don't have the capabilitities to say what another person is thinking or going to do. That's unfortunate but that's what we have to live with. So should he get punished? The answer is this would you want your child hanging around this child? I bet the you would say not. So punish him to the full extent and let that be one life lesson that I hope he truely learns.

ShelbyJones
0
Points
ShelbyJones 05/24/07 - 09:27 am
0
0
They are on the other page

They are on the other page bashing the driver who was arrested for accidently killing his brother and a 19 year old girl. He looks as if he needs an in-depth psychological to determine what would constitute this behavior. I would be totally upset if this behavior happened at my child's school. It is very serious. The device could have exploded. As they said, it just needed to be lit and he had the lighter in his pocket. Where in blue blazes was he going to set it off after school? Another way to start a fire and kill innocent people.

marien
28
Points
marien 05/24/07 - 09:32 am
0
0
This is one prank that he

This is one prank that he will never forget, yes he needs to be punished. He could have blown up himself/others.

cricketflea
3
Points
cricketflea 05/24/07 - 09:41 am
0
0
Well, here is another young

Well, here is another young man who has ruined his life with ONE dumb discision!

bone
23
Points
bone 05/24/07 - 09:52 am
0
0
this is a sad thing to see: a

this is a sad thing to see: a less-than-bright nice kid who does something that could have hurt a lot of people - and he thought it would be a funny prank! sorry, folks, this fella needs to spend MANY years thinking about this error in judgement. let's say for the sake of argument that he wasn't intending to harm anyone. remember the teacher seeing him put a gaming system in his bookbag? as a teacher, i know that the best way to encourage theft at school is to allow students to keep expensive electronics in their possession during the school day: kids just can't keep their valuables locked up. so did another student see this gaming device? could another student have possibly taken his gaming system and, in the process, given the bomb to someone who would try to do something deadly with it? THAT'S why the kid has to be punished: both for his stupidity and because he could have enabled someone else to really do some damage.

intheknow
16
Points
intheknow 05/24/07 - 09:56 am
0
0
JOSHMO, ROTFLMAO. He just may

JOSHMO, ROTFLMAO. He just may be a good kid, but I have several friends that are firemen, and had a fire started, their lives would have been at risk. Because of this " Prank."

Newsreader
11
Points
Newsreader 05/24/07 - 10:05 am
0
0
Momma always said "Stupid is

Momma always said "Stupid is as Stupid does". Prank or Serious how are we to know? Let the courts decide, but pushiment must be fitting the crime. However; it does seem as if they are piling on the charges.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 05/24/07 - 10:19 am
0
0
I say send him to JAIL...

I say send him to JAIL...

TLO
0
Points
TLO 05/24/07 - 10:20 am
0
0
what has happen to the kids

what has happen to the kids now adays I keep a good eye on my kids he is 18 teen let him see what jail is like someone has to show the kids today they cant get away with stuff like this I am sick of people saying that thay cant do anything with there kids YES U CAN

InChristLove
22420
Points
InChristLove 05/24/07 - 10:40 am
0
0
I don't know what the answer

I don't know what the answer is for all of this and it seems like in the past couple of months there have been some really STUPID decisions made by ou youth. Isn't there a boot camp we can send these fairly descent kids who have no priors and end up doing something stupid out of pure bad judgement than sending them to jail where they will probably learn stuff we wished they'd hadn't. I feel like these young kids just made bad choices and aren't beyond getting them back on the right path with some strict guidance.

SAMBO
0
Points
SAMBO 05/24/07 - 10:50 am
0
0
in my humble opinion, maybe

in my humble opinion, maybe this was a sign of crying out for help, stupid as it may be . we cannot as a society bring wrath down without metered MERCY..........

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 05/24/07 - 10:57 am
0
0
ICL: I like the boot camp

ICL: I like the boot camp idea for this kid. I just hate to think about what he and his parents went through last night while he was/is in jail.

Rose
17
Points
Rose 05/24/07 - 11:23 am
0
0
He is a legal adult. He knew

He is a legal adult. He knew what he was doing. No excuses. He should be punished, and I hope the punishment will be a lesson to him.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 05/24/07 - 11:35 am
0
0
No, ROSE, he probably did not

No, ROSE, he probably did not really know what he was doing, and he probably had no idea that it was as serious as it actually is. If you want punishment to be a lesson, perhaps suggest something that won't destroy his life or get him raped.

grumpybear09
0
Points
grumpybear09 05/24/07 - 11:38 am
0
0
I knew him kinda sorta ... He

I knew him kinda sorta ... He looked crazy ... And I expected him to do something tht stupid and dumb .... He should be arrested for along time and get sent for some psychological heelp !!!

eilinel
0
Points
eilinel 05/24/07 - 12:14 pm
0
0
So, if you knew him well and

So, if you knew him well and he looked "normal" or "sane" and you didn't expect him to "do something tht stupid and dumb" should he still "be arrested for along time and get sent for some psychological heelp?" I get so tired of people assuming someone will do something just because of the way they look. So he looked different - big flipping deal. Looking different doesn't automatically mean crazy.
Sure, what he did was wrong, but who are you to judge him in that manner?

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 05/24/07 - 12:40 pm
0
0
One nice thing about some of

One nice thing about some of our judges is that they do, when allowed by the statutes, sometimes take the individual kid into consideration with sentencing. The repeaters and the arrogant, surely, aggressive and insolent types don't seem to do very well in that kind of situation, but the ones who are genuinely ashamed of themselves and humble in their demeanor tend to come out better. We will have to wait and see what becomes of this young man.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 05/24/07 - 12:52 pm
0
0
18 years old and did not

18 years old and did not understand what he was doin? thought it was a prank?... 13 or 14 maybe.. but 18?? If he is slow maybe he needs to be put in a special class away from others. I wouldn't want my child in school with someone that age who did not realize blowing up the classroom was more than "just a prank". I'd like to hear the rest of the story... But we can't excuse kids for things like this just because they are young. And legally he is an adult!! He is a senior, I wonder if he was graduating if not... maybe there is more to the story.

alethia
1
Points
alethia 05/24/07 - 12:54 pm
0
0
I just don't get it. Why are

I just don't get it. Why are so many young people continuing to trash their lives? It's in the news all the time, so you would think they should know better and what the consequences would be.....but yet it's seems they do it anyway???? Are they so dumb or just angry with society and this is a form of rejecting the ugly world in which we live?

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
7054
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 05/24/07 - 12:58 pm
0
0
In most interviews in the

In most interviews in the media all the neighbors say he or she was a quiet unassuming person who never seemed like the type to do anything of that nature. Is this one any different, I don't think so.

ForHim
2
Points
ForHim 05/24/07 - 01:05 pm
0
0
In this day and age, even a

In this day and age, even a stupid person would have to know this would be totally unacceptable as a "prank." If someone goes to the extreme to put something together that will detonate and carry it in their bookbag, I don't think they were thinking "prank." He may have been a nice guy and had lots of friends. It really doesn't matter. He comitted a crime and needs to be accountable for it. His accountability should be no less than any other person that does the same thing. Anybody can say "it was a joke" or "I wasn't really going to do anything with it" or whatever. You never know what is going on in someone's head.

Just the Facts Please
0
Points
Just the Facts Please 05/24/07 - 01:16 pm
0
0
No Mercy, No quarter need be

No Mercy, No quarter need be given so serious a crime. At best this young man's attempt to "be funny" has lost it's meaning in the wider since of the enitre genre of today's declining society. He is another statistic in the failure of our great society to educate the young in the art of being polite and learning the meaning of shame. Fortunately this week the offender is of another ethnic group. Which shows us a dicotemy of a shameless society. In this it cuts across ethnic and racial grounds. Yet we are in the business of trying to excuse his lurid and anti-social behavior. What does that say? It says that we have failed in the communicating of right and wrong. Glorifying violent behavior and giving such acts unmitigated umbrage. Bring back public hangings, bring back the quick and speedy trial and execution. Bring back God and common sense and set up prime examples to the general public to check their behavior. Otherwise the next person committing such an act here may be more successful as was young Cho in Virginia.

sfseigler
0
Points
sfseigler 05/24/07 - 02:05 pm
0
0
This kid was only 3 days away

This kid was only 3 days away from graduation, what in the world could he ahve been thinking. I personally knew ray and he never seemed like he would do something like that. I wonder where he goes from here

sfseigler
0
Points
sfseigler 05/24/07 - 02:05 pm
0
0
This kid was only 3 days away

This kid was only 3 days away from graduation, what in the world could he ahve been thinking. I personally knew ray and he never seemed like he would do something like that. I wonder where he goes from here.

sfseigler
0
Points
sfseigler 05/24/07 - 02:05 pm
0
0
This kid was only 3 days away

This kid was only 3 days away from graduation, what in the world could he ahve been thinking. I personally knew ray and he never seemed like he would do something like that. I wonder where he goes from here.

Back to Top

Top headlines

School safety chief touts restructure

Last year, Alfonzo Williams announced that he would conduct a massive overhaul of the Richmond County School Safety department to cut down on inefficiencies and increase accountability. 
Search Augusta jobs