By Michael R. Moser
A section of Stanley St. within a block of Cumberland County High School was closed off and residents evacuated after Crossville Police discovered a homemade bomb at an apartment complex.
The Knoxville Police Department bomb squad responded to the incident and stabilized the explosive and after about four hours, residents were allowed to return to their homes.
Charged with reckless endangerment and possession of a prohibited weapon is Jason Erin Dewall, 37, 44 Cumberland Apartments Lane, D-1. Investigation is continuing and additional charges may be pending.
Not much is known about Dewall other than he has a criminal record in the states of
Alaska and California.
Around 8:30 p.m. Sgt. Jon Wirey wrote that he was on patrol traveling west on Stanley St. when he was flagged down by Jeffrey Rodderick who told him that a man named Jason had been involved in a physical dispute over the alleged theft of two rifles that Dewall wanted to store at Rodderick's Lori Lane home.
According to Wirey's report, Rodderick told Dewall he did not want the rifles stored in his home and the weapons were removed and hidden in a fence row and were later stolen by a third party.
Reportedly Rodderick received several text messages saying the persons involved would be blown up with a bomb. In all, Rodderick received 19 text messages on his cell phone with numerous references to a bomb.
One of those messages came from a woman identified as Dewall's fiancee who asked Rodderick to "get the explosives from under the steps of her apartment. Wirey walked over to the apartment and beneath the steps found three, duct-taped containers covered by a towel.
A wire was found protruding from one of the containers. At that, Wirey backed out of the scene and contacted Fire Department Investigator Rick Myers. Additional police units, fire department personnel and ambulance personnel responded to the scene. Also responding was the Crossville/Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency and Stanley St. was closed between Yvonne Ave. and School St.
Occupants of the Cumberland Apts. were evacuated and the Cumberland County Chapter of the American Red Cross opened up an emergency shelter for six residents while others either stood outside the crime tape or stayed with neighbors or friends.
When the Knoxville Police bomb squad responded, officers found a one-pound can of black powder just inside the front door and a roll of duct tape lying on the bed. Bomb squad officials X-rayed the contents of the primitive bomb and determined it was filled with black powder and was potentially lethal, Wirey wrote.
Police located Dewall at an apartment in Twin Oaks on Mitchell Blvd. and he was taken to the Justice Center where he was interviewed by Det. Bill Padgett. Further investigation determined that the two firearms had been stolen in a burglary at apartment D-2, next door to where Dewall lived.
It took about four hours for police investigators to determine that the scene was secure and safe for residents to return to their homes.