SHERMAN – A Pontotoc County man found what looked like a pipe bomb on his property Monday with a message condemning his support of the president.
Law enforcement investigators later determined it was not explosive.
Christopher Stark, 27, who lives off of Tuscumbia Road near the town of Sherman, said he saw the pipe with a message scrawled on it next to his trash can Monday when he got home from school and immediately called the authorities.
“It looked like a pipe and said, ‘Obama is dumb,’ on it,” Stark said. “We have Obama bumper stickers on our cars, so when I saw that I thought it was a bomb or someone who was trying to terrorize us.”
Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office investigators and the Tupelo Police Department bomb squad responded to the call around 3:15 p.m. Monday.
Tupelo Police Capt. Terry Morgan said they used their tools to attempt to detonate the suspicious item and then turned it over to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for further investigation.
Pontotoc County Sheriff Leo Mask said the item they suspected could be a rudimentary pipe bomb was not explosive.
Rickey Jaggers, Pontotoc County Emergency Management coordinator, said he was first on the scene around 3:15 p.m. Monday. “There by the man’s garbage bin was a suspicious-looking piece of pipe, all taped up and it looked like it could be a pipe bomb,” Jaggers said.
“You never take any chances. We set up a perimeter, and kept everyone back until the bomb squad arrived. The bomb squad secured the item and were able to use a detonation of their own to determine that it was not an explosive device.”
Authorities said the PVC pipe was between 12 and 20 inches with duct tape on the ends.
Stark said he found a note that was more playful than threatening on his car on the Itawamba Community College campus last spring, and his wife found a more threatening note on her vehicle near her work in New Albany but thought nothing of them at the time.
“We just figured that it’s because we live in the South and most people are Republican,” he said. “I didn’t think about it at the time but told police this morning when they called.”