The Wichita Police Department’s bomb squad and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were called to the Highland Hotel after homemade explosive devices were found late Friday. A Great Bend man allegedly threw one at a man, but it didn’t go off.
Great Bend Police Chief Dean Akings described the devices as pipe bombs, capable of causing considerable damage.
Lt. Bill Browne reported officers were dispatched to the 2200 block of 18th St. around 9:45 p.m. to investigate a report of an aggravated assault. The man they contacted said a man, later identified as Jose S. Torres of Great Bend, had thrown an explosive device at him, but it hasn’t gone office.
After interviewing the victim and several witnesses, officers learned the name of the suspect that where to find him. Torres, 31, was located in a room at the hotel that was rented under another name. He was taken into custody and two other pipe bombs were found in the room.
Akings said the bomb experts were called in as a precaution. The room was secured and the devices were removed and made safe.
Torres was booked into the Barton County Jail on felony charges of criminal threat and aggravated assault, and misdemeanor charges of criminal damage to property and stalking, with bond set at $20,000.
Information has been turned over to the Barton County Attorney, and the case remains under investigation.