LAX Police Arrest 'Curious' Dry Ice Bomb Suspect Dicarlo Bennett

Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 09:41 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Police said Dicarlo Bennett, the baggage handler who was taken into custody Tuesday for allegedly planting dry ice bombs at Los Angeles International Airport over the weekend, was "surprised" at his arrest because he thought the stunt was "a funny kind of joke."

Bennett, 28, reportedly planted three plastic bottles of dry ice around the airport out of "personal curiosity," The Associated Press reported. One of the bottles exploded in an employee bathroom on Sunday, and another on the airport's tarmac. A third bottle that did not explode was found Monday.

No one was injured in the blasts, but the incident caused Terminal 2 to briefly shutdown, according to CNN.

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"This guy was playing around. It was kind of a game to him. He thought it was funny. He had no intent to attack innocent victims. There was no political motive or agenda," Los Angeles police Deputy Chief Michael Downing told CNN. "But I think he was surprised because now he is in jail on a million dollars bail. But this is serious. And when you place a destructive device near an airplane, it bumps up the seriousness."

Dry ice, which is carbon dioxide in solid form, is used as a refrigerant for meats and ice cream. When dry ice becomes warm, it transforms into vapor.

"There was nothing to worry about in terms of safety at LAX," Downing said. "This was not a criminal enterprise. He thought it was a funny kind of joke. But we take it seriously. I think he was kind of proud, thought it was funny."

Police said Bennett, who faces charges including possession of an explosive or destructive device near an aircraft, found the bottles of dry ice on the airfield. LAX has since amended its policy on discarding the substance, and now requires employees to return dry ice to an on-site warehouse.

Bennett was an employee of Servisair, a leading global provider of aviation ground services. The company released a statement about his arrest earlier this week.

"We are aware of the arrest of Dicarlo Bennett as a suspect in the recent incidents at LAX," the statement read. "We're cooperating with authorities and will continue to monitor the situation closely. It is important at this early stage to allow law enforcement to continue their investigation, and we do not have any further comment at this time."

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