Alameda County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad was called Monday night after authorities in East Oakland discovered what they thought was a pipe bomb. The object in question, a PVC-type plastic pipe capped at either end, was opened and ventilated by the bomb squad before they determined what it actually was: a butane cannabis blasting tube.
Police found the pipe as the result of a report concerning a 37-year-old man who had told people that “he was feeling suicidal and wanted police to kill him,” in the words of the East Bay Times.
Responding to the report, police at first couldn’t find the man, only his car. After finding an object they thought to be an explosive device, the area was sealed and the bomb squad brought on the scene. They opened a hole in the pipe and realized they were only holding an extraction tube, not a bomb. Butane was also discovered in the car.
The man in question was found on foot nearby. According to the EBT, “The man was arrested for violating a restraining order a relative had against him and was taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.” A replica gun that the man had stashed at a relative’s house was also found by police. It’s possible that this was the weapon the man hoped would trick law enforcement into using deadly force against him, mirroring the actions of a Los Angeles-based 16 year-old boy who in October used a replica gun to commit suicide by cop.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly told EBT that local law enforcement and seeing “more and more” extraction labs in the area, which begs the question of why the blasting tube wasn’t recognized for what it really was if the cops are indeed becoming more and more familiar with the processing of cannabis concentrates.
The unnamed man is not the only California blaster making the news recently. A hash oil lab exploded in the Hollywood Hills on November 3, starting an apartment building on fire and giving the blaster severe burns on his face, chest, and hands.