Arrest made in spate of movie theater ‘bottle bomb’ incidents

Prince George’s fire investigators said Sunday that they had arrested a Bowie man in connection with a “bottle bomb” explosion last week at a Largo movie theater.

Officials said the man also is considered a suspect in a string of similar incidents around the region, including one at the AMC Tysons Corner 16 complex during a showing of “Godzilla” that forced the evacuation of the theater.

Manuel Joyner, 20, was charged with the felony manufacture/possession/detonation of a destructive device in connection with a May 24 explosion during a showing of “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” at the Magic Johnson Theater in Largo. Two people reportedly sustained minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

The charge, a felony, carries a maximum sentence of 25 years. Other charges are forthcoming in Prince George’s and other jurisdictions, officials said.

AMC Theaters had offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the bomber. A fire department spokesman said it was unclear whether the reward could be claimed in connection with Joyner’s arrest.

Manuel Joyner, 20, was arrested by Prince George’s County officials as the movie theater “bottle-bomb” suspect. (Courtesy of Prince George's County Office of the Fire Marshal)

Fire officials described the devices as bottle bombs, which use chemical reactions inside soda or water bottles to create massive pressure and loud explosions.

County fire marshals and police officers made the arrest Saturday. Soon after, the suspect’s house in the 600 block of Stillwater Place was searched by investigators from the county, the ATF, FBI and fire department officials from four surrounding jurisdictions.

Officials said they would say more about the multi-agency investigation at a news conference Monday.

Steve Hendrix came to The Post more than ten years ago from the world of magazine freelancing and has written for just about every page of the paper: Travel, Style, the Magazine, Book World, Foreign, National and, most recently, the Metro section’s Enterprise Team.
Continue reading 10 minutes left
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Local