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Researcher booked into jail in connection to Davis apt, explosion

11:10 PM, Jan 20, 2013   |    comments
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DAVIS, CA - UC Davis Police have arrested the junior researcher injured in a blast in his campus apartment.

David Snyder, 32, was charged with felony counts of possessing an explosive, possessing materials with the intent to make a destructive device, and two counts of possessing a firearm on campus.

Snyder worked as a junior researcher in a campus chemistry lab.

Snyder was injured during an explosion in his apartment January 17. He transported himself to the hospital with non life threatening injuries to his hand. Hospital staff then alerted police.

"While we have no information to suggest that Mr. Snyder was plotting some sort of broader crime on campus, in today's environment the potential safety risk to the community must be taken extremely seriously," UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael said.

It took law enforcement 20 hours to dispose of all the materials found in Snyder's Russell Park apartment.

"He did possess materials necessary and obviously with intent to make explosives," Carmichael said.

Authorities won't comment on the quantity, or specific types of chemicals.

"We are talking about chemical mixtures that are primary explosives and also secondary explosives," Commander Nick Concolino of the Yolo County Bomb Squad said. "There was an evacuation done because of a clear and present danger to the public."

Snyder's apartment complex was evacuated along with five other housing complexes, and a daycare.

Police also wouldn't comment on the fertilizer and paper targets that were removed and won't say how or where he got the chemicals. Authorities would only say many can be legally obtained.

"A lot of the items can be obtained over counter and by themselves can't constitute a violation of crime but the mere fact they're put together creates an actual explosive," Carmichael explained.

Police are still investigating why Snyder had so many chemicals in his possession.

As for that vent sticking out of Snyder's apartment, police say it was nothing more than an air conditioning attachment and is not considered suspicious.

When asked if Snyder was using his position as a junior researcher to procure materials and further whatever he was up to, Carmichael said he couldn't speculate.

"But I can tell you the investigation will cover all the details you can think of probably times 10," Carmichael added.

Carmichael also said Snyder could face additional charges.

Snyder was booked into the Yolo County Jail once he is released from the hospital.

Bail is set for 2 million dollars.

Snyder received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from UC Davis in 2004 and a Ph.D. in chemistry in December of 2011.

After earning his doctorate, he held a temporary one-year research appointment through UCSF that allowed him to work at UC Davis. That position ended in November.

His current temporary job with UC Davis began in December. UC Davis officials have also announced they have placed Snyder on investigatory leave from his short term job as a junior researcher. His two month appointment expires January 31.

News10/KXTV

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