A man arrested at a DeBary home where deputies uncovered explosive devices and about 200 containers holding unknown powders, acids and other materials, including bodily fluids, was one step from creating a weapon of mass destruction, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said deputies were called Sunday afternoon to a domestic disturbance at 124 Bradwick Circle. Deputies said Christopher S. Langer, 31, was arguing with his parents when he told them that he had placed an explosive substance inside a grenade.
Langer, who deputies said was intoxicated, initially denied the grenade existed, but later said he had thrown it outside, authorities said. A deputy found a metal pineapple-style grenade that had a paperclip in place to hold the lever and keep it from exploding, the Sheriff's Office said.
[PICS: Items found at home ]
Deputies evacuated the house, and a search resulted in the discovery of an estimated 200 containers inside the home containing unknown powders, acids and other materials. At least 79 containers were placed in a containment area, and many others were determined to be holding bodily fluids, officials said.
Chitwood said Langer also used a SpongeBob SquarePants lunch box as a booby trap that was planted in the backyard.
"That domestic violence call probably saved us from making national and international news," Chitwood said. "He has all the components in there to make a weapon of mass destruction."
The containers, etc., we pulled out of the DeBary home w/ explosive devices. Many of these contain urine. But he also had all the ingredients to make bombs pic.twitter.com/wq6ttwr8dP— Volusia Co. Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) November 13, 2017
Chitwood said the seized chemicals included nitric acid and urea, similar to items used in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
Chitwood described Langer, who has been hospitalized four times under the state's Baker Act, as a heroin addict who is anti-government and wanted to "get even" by harming first responders.
Authorities were recently called to the same home and used Narcan to revive Langer, who overdosed on heroin, Chitwood said.
"Two weeks ago we saved your (G**-d****) life, and now we're here two weeks later and you're talking about how you want to blow us all up," Chitwood said.
On Oct. 25, Langer's mother called 911 after she found him gasping for breath. A Volusia County deputy used a second dose of Narcan to revive Langer, after the first had little effect, according to the incident report.
The sheriff said Langer's parents claimed that they were unaware of their son's collection of chemicals.
Chitwood said the house was normal except for Langer's bedroom.
"If I was a roach, I wouldn't live in that room," Chitwood said. "That's how despicable and dirty and and feces- and urine-filled that room is. The rest of the house is in pretty good shape."
Chitwood said that since Langer is not a convicted felon, it was legal for him to own most of the items in his possession.
Langer also saved bottles of his urine, which can be used to make a bomb, Chitwood said.
A bomb squad, the ATF and other agencies worked through the night to render the house safe, Chitwood said.
Some neighboring houses were evacuated Sunday afternoon, but residents were allowed to return home later in the evening.
"Thank the good Lord that we're all standing here today and not national news," Chitwood said.
Neighbor Rich Groen said it's scary to think about what might have happened if authorities didn't intervene.
"You don't expect this in your own neighborhood and just to think that there could have been a bomb go off that could have took all of us out of here," Groen said.
Langer was arrested on charges of making/possessing a destructive device. He was taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail, where he was being held on a $5,000 bond. Additional charges are possible.
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