By Michael Williams
ORLANDO, Fla. — What started as a domestic disturbance between a Central Florida man and his parents led to the discovery of hundreds of chemicals, acids, bomb-making materials and a potential booby trap meant to kill first responders, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said Monday morning.
The incident began shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday at a house in DeBary, when deputies responded to an argument involving Christopher Langer, 31, and his parents, sheriff’s spokesman Andrew Gant said. During the disagreement, Langer told his parents he had put an explosive substance into a grenade, Gant said.
In the backyard, authorities found a metal pineapple-shaped grenade with a paperclip in place to keep it from exploding, Gant said. They also found a toy car concealing what appeared to be a small pipe bomb.
Authorities said a device was also apparently rigged inside of a Spongebob SquarePants lunchbox.
“What’s extremely concerning is you’re talking about a kid’s school lunch box. What was in his mind where you would put together a Spongebob lunch box and booby trap that?” Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood said at a news conference provided by Orlando Sentinel news partner FOX 35.
“The purpose of that is to blow somebody up,” he said.
Inside the house, deputies found Langer’s room to be in a “deplorable” condition, covered in urine and feces. They found approximately 200 containers of various acids and chemicals, including nitric acid, sulfuric acid and sulfur. They also discovered several containers with Langer’s own urine, which can be used as a fuel to make an explosive device, Chitwood said.
While Langer was being arrested, he told authorities he had anti-government sentiments and was against “the system,” deputies said.
“You got somebody who’s mentally ill, clearly. He’s been Baker Acted four times. He’s got a substance abuse problem. He has a hate for the government. So you have somebody who’s not really dealing in the realm of reality,” Chitwood said, adding that he believes Langer was “looking to make a weapon of mass destruction.”
A few weeks ago deputies responded to the home and found Langer overdosing on heroin. He was administered a dose of Narcan, saving his life, Chitwood said.
“Two weeks ago we saved your goddamn life. And now we’re here two weeks later and you’re talking about how you wanted to blow us all up,” he said.
Langer’s brother was also found to have been growing psilocybin mushrooms, authorities said.
Langer was charged with making and possessing a destructive device and was taken to the Volusia County Jail on $5,000 bail, but Chitwood is asking a judge to have Langer’s bail revoked. Additional charges may be filed, pending the results of the investigation.
Deputies have remained on the scene. Some residents who had been evacuated from their homes returned Sunday night.
(Orlando Sentinel staffer Stephen Ruiz contributed to this report.)
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