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Two Arrested in Attempt To Blow Up School Bus

By Arthur Santana
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 23, 2005; Page SM07

A man and a boy were charged last week in an attempt to blow up a school bus in St. Mary's County on Christmas day, said the St. Mary's County Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

Sgt. Delmar Smith said Sheane David Ambos, 19, and a boy , 16, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, used camera phones to take pictures of themselves lighting a flare and placing it inside the gas tank of a school bus parked on Great Mills Road in Lexington Park.

No one was inside the school bus at the time, and the flare apparently failed to ignite the diesel fuel, Smith said. The juvenile is a student at Great Mills High School, Smith said.

"The tank was full at the time," Smith said. "But due to the fact that it was diesel fuel and not regular fuel, it didn't ignite. If it had been regular unleaded fuel, the bus would have exploded."

Smith said it was unclear how the gas tank of the bus was opened; the bus was sitting in an unfenced lot. It was not immediately known which school used the yellow school bus, Smith said.

On Jan. 15, a witness told St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office deputies that Ambos and the youth were responsible for numerous recent acts of vandalism and property destruction in the Lexington Park and Great Mills areas, Smith said.

Among the targets were county facilities, a day-care center and Great Mills High School, Smith said. All the incidents occurred last month.

The St. Mary's County Bureau of Criminal Investigations executed a search and seizure warrant at the residences of Ambos and the juvenile. The searches turned up numerous items of evidence, Smith said.

Items seized included cellular telephones that have the capability of taking pictures. In pictures and recorded audio Ambos and the juvenile appeared to be trying to blow up the bus, Smith said.

The two were arrested and charged with manufacturing a destructive device, three counts of malicious destruction of property and one count of theft under $500.

Ambos is being held in the St. Mary's County Detention Center. The juvenile is at the Cheltingham Youth Facility, awaiting an appearance before a juvenile court, Smith said.

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