Wheeling police on patrol on Friday November 19, 2010 for burglary suspects stopped Ryan P. Barton, 20, of Arlington Heights, as he walking with a backpack in the 700 block of Hintz Road in Wheeling. Police asked to see what was inside the backpack, and discovered a pipe bomb inside the backpack about 12:40 a.m.
The police officer placed the backpack on the ground and called police dispatch to request the Cook County bomb squad to respond. The bomb squad was en route by 12:50 a.m. A police backup unit immediately transported Barton in custody to Wheeling Police Department headquarters.
The westbound outer lane of Hintz Road was temporarily closed with traffic cones and police cars barricading the area while the pipe bomb was disabled. Lexington Health Care employees working at the facility at 730 Hintz Road were advised to stay inside.
Barton gave a statement to police saying he had been carrying the bomb around for the past two years.
The bomb contained 51 grams of an unknown explosive powder and metal ball bearings, and was safely disabled by the Cook County Sheriff Police Department bomb squad.
Ryan Barton was charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon/possession of an explosive device, which carries a penalty of up to a $25,000 fine and/or two to five years in prison. Barton was not a suspect in the car burglaries that occurred in the area
Barton’s bond was set at $60,000. His next court date is 1:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in room 108 of the Rolling Meadows courthouse.
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The location where the pipe bomb was found in a backpack was within two blocks of Wheeling High School.