• Mom Defends Son In ‘Drano Bomb’ Case.

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    DETROIT — The mother of a student at Phoenix Multicultural School on Detroit’s southwest side is defending her son he was charged with discharging a so-called “Drano bomb” inside the building.

     The explosive device, made of household cleaning chemicals, went off in the hallway of the building at about 8:30 a.m., sending fumes into the air, said a school official.

     School officials said no students were injured because they were all inside classrooms.

     However, a seventh-grader, who did not want to be identified, said the explosion on the third floor knocked her down and injured her.

     “The boom went off and I flew into a locker. I tried to block my face but it hit my arm instead,” she said.

     “The device itself could have caused a lot of damage if there were a lot of children around when the device actually went off. Those types of bombs are very, very unstable,” said Inspector Don Johnson with the DPD Bomb Squad.

    Police said the 540 students at the K-8 school were immediately evacuated, and many were forced out into the cold without their coats.

     The students were bused to Roberto Clemente School in Detroit, which is located at 1551 Beard St. Parents were asked to pick them up there at the end of the school day. The 13-year-old appeared in Juvenile Court on Thursday. Hortencia Vela is his mother. She said he is innocent.  “He’s a very good kid. They didn’t find no evidence at all,” Vela said. She added her son has learning disabilities.

     “He can’t even make Kool-Aid. So how is he going to do something like that,” Vela said.

     Homeland security agents and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were at the scene Wednesday with bomb-sniffing dogs, and gave the all clear. An investigation into how the student brought the device into the building is under way.

     “What do we have security for,” said parent Jennifer Adams. “We got a bomb going off – what’s next?”

     The boy has been charged with possessing an explosive device with unlawful intent and creating a disturbance in a school.

     At the hearing, prosecutors say the 8th grader is the target of constant bullying by other students at the school.

     He has been released on bond but is under a form of house arrest, under which he cannot leave his home unless he is accompanied by a parent.

     He cannot return to the Phoenix Multi-Cultural Academy unless the school admits him. His mother, Hortencia Vela, repeated her claim that her son is not guilty.

     “He helped the homeless at a soup kitchen. Why would he want to hurt somebody,” Vela said.Police said the 540 students at the K-8 school were immediately evacuated, and many were forced out into the cold without their coats.

    The students were bused to Roberto Clemente School in Detroit, which is located at 1551 Beard St. Parents were asked to pick them up there at the end of the school day.

     

    The 13-year-old appeared in Juvenile Court on Thursday. Hortencia Vela is his mother. She said he is innocent.

     “He’s a very good kid. They didn’t find no evidence at all,” Vela said. She added her son has learning disabilities.”He can’t even make Kool-Aid. So how is he going to do something like that,” Vela said.

     Homeland security agents and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were at the scene Wednesday with bomb-sniffing dogs, and gave the all clear. An investigation into how the student brought the device into the building is under way.

     “What do we have security for,” said parent Jennifer Adams. “We got a bomb going off – what’s next?”

     The boy has been charged with possessing an explosive device with unlawful intent and creating a disturbance in a school.

     At the hearing, prosecutors say the 8th grader is the target of constant bullying by other students at the school. He has been released on bond but is under a form of house arrest, under which he cannot leave his home unless he is accompanied by a parent.

     

    He cannot return to the Phoenix Multi-Cultural Academy unless the school admits him. His mother, Hortencia Vela, repeated her claim that her son is not guilty.

     

    “He helped the homeless at a soup kitchen. Why would he want to hurt somebody,” Vela said.

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