A LaPorte man assembled a powerful liquid bomb and a neighbor's car would have blown up from turning the key in the ignition had the suspect's workmanship not failed, police testified Thursday in LaPorte Circuit Court.
That was part of the police testimony that led to Eric Weiler, 44, being formally charged Thursday with two counts of possession of a destructive device or explosion.
LaPorte Circuit Court Judge Tom Alevizos ordered Weiler held on a $500,000 cash-only bond.
"We have an extremely dangerous individual here," said LaPorte County Deputy Prosecutor Atley Price.
LaPorte police Detective Robert Metcalf said two of Weiler's friends came forward Wednesday, alarmed by Weiler allegedly talking about abducting children over the last six months.
During a hidden recording, Metcalf said, Weiler discussed and showed two bombs he claimed to have made inside his residence and said he was trying to blow up a neighbor's vehicle.
Price said the neighbor took the car to a mechanic because it was running poorly and learned the ignition had been wired to the gas tank.
Two bombs, including one capable of leveling his house, were found during a search of the suspect's home, along with threatening notes to an unnamed girl, Metcalf said.
Police evacuated homes near Weiler's residence, near LaPorte High School, Wednesday night.
Lou Wiencken, 82, said she and several neighbors near the suspect’s residence were evacuated by police about 8 p.m.
She was with her son, John, and observed multiple law enforcement agencies from the high school parking lot, where she waited to be allowed to return home three hours later.
"I never had that experience before. I don’t want it again, either," she said.
LaPorte School Corp. Superintendent Mark Francesconi said activities inside the building were allowed to go on as scheduled Wednesday night after receiving assurance from police nobody there was in danger.