Frosh Arrested for Science Experiment

A UVa engineering freshman has been arrested and charged with “creating a hoax explosive device” after he stuck some dry ice in a water bottle. Clearly, I should turn myself in. I, too, created precisely the same hoax explosive device on Friday afternoon, when I put several ounces of dry ice in a discarded apple juice bottle for the same reason. In my defense, it was really awesome. (I took a couple of pictures, one of fog spreading across the floor and one of my dog freaking out.) Can somebody tell me why is this kid being charged with doing something that his engineering professor may well have recommended?  #

10 Responses to “Frosh Arrested for Science Experiment”


  • “Sanders Eugene DeNardi is accused of using dry ice to explode a water bottle.”

    I don’t know the rest of the story, but my guess is the explosion is what they had/have a problem with. Dropping dry ice into an open container is one thing. Dropping it in a container and then sealing that container is something COMPLETELY different.

    In fact, I’ve heard that the Anarchist’s Cookbook, or a similar publication, has a “recipe” for a dry ice gun that uses the built-up pressure from a mixture of dry ice and water to propel shrapnel.

    But that’s just what I’ve heard…

  • Oh, I want to be clear: I dropped it into about 4 ozs of warm water in that juice bottle, sealed it tight, and hurled it out into the yard. I did it intentionally, in order to blow it up.

    I’m not sure that we’re in “one year in prison” territory here.

  • Since CBS19’s blurb was so short, I’m going to see if more details are released before deciding whether police overreacted.

    I think my judgement will be based on where exactly he tried to explode the water bottle. Doing that kind of thing in your front yard is a little different from doing it in a dorm room. Seems more like a UVA disciplinary matter than a police matter though.

  • I was going to describe a thoughtless but harmless “prank” I did in high school, but now that we can get jail time for sneezing in the wrong place, I think I’ll pass.

  • I’ve “heard” that 20 oz soda bottles work best, filled about 1/3 of the way with warm water, and then 2 or 3 cubes of dry ice. The fuse is about 2 minutes….Funny thing is that I didn’t hear a whole lot for a few seconds after “hearing” about that.

    Too bad that somebody got in trouble for doing it on grounds, but that’s probably something better to do on a farm out in the county. We’ve had Albemarle Police come my a few times to investigate the noise, but found no illegal activities. They usually were impressed and liked to hang around a watch for a while.

  • The wording, “hoax explosive device” bothers me. If it actually exploded, as it appears it did, how is it a hoax? Isn’t that a real explosive device?

    I guess I’m also going to have to read up on the legal definitions of explosive devices.

  • Next you are going to tell me that loading up a piece of PVC pipe with a potato and launching it with a flamable propellant is illegal. Not that I would have any experience with that type of activity.

    Oh wait…

  • I love everyone admitting… or not… to activities that are illegal… or not… I hope Camblos doesn’t read this, or he’ll go apoplectic!

  • When I was little I had this plastic cookie jar with a pressure-fit top. I fondly recall one afternoon spent loading it up with dry ice and water and watching the lid blast into the air.

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