Tags: oregon | pressure | cooker | bomb

Man Threatens to Blow Up State Building Over Misspelled Sign

Thursday, 30 May 2013 04:11 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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A man carried a pressure cooker into a state education agency in Oregon, said it was a bomb and chillingly claimed he had attempted to blow up their outdoor sign because it contained a misspelling, according to police.

Authorities said Leonard Burdek, 50, of Salem, entered the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission office on Wednesday, dressed in a buttoned-up winter coat and wearing a stocking cap over his head.

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His pressure cooker had wires sticking out of it, according to police, jolting workers who thought back to the Boston Marathon bombings which were carried out with pressure cookers rigged with explosives.

"He walked quite confidently into our office as though he had a mission, and I think that was what alarmed me right off the bat," Executive Director Vickie Chamberlain told the Statesman-Journal newspaper.

"He did not look like one of the educators we serve."

Burdek said he had attempted to blow up the agency's misspelled outside sign — referring to the letter "d" missing in the word "and" so that it read, "Teacher Standards an Practices Commission."

But, he added, the bomb didn't work.

The newspaper said Burdek implied that employees should be concerned about the level of education students receive. The office handles applications for teachers' licenses.

When Burdek noticed an employee calling 911, he abruptly left. Police arrested him in his van a short time later and seized the pressure cooker, which turned out to be harmless.

He was charged with disorderly conduct.

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