HOUSTON (Reuters) – An Oklahoma man was arrested and charged on Friday with trying to destroy a natural gas pipeline with a homemade bomb, the FBI said. The bomb, which was made of pop bottles, wooden stirrers and a little chewing gum, all wrapped in the centerfold from the March 1974 issue of Playboy.
The Oklahoma City division of the FBI said on Friday that Daniel Wells Herriman, 40, of Konawa, Oklahoma, called Seminole County 911 emergency response on Wednesday and said he had made the device at his home.
He said that he put it under the above-ground pipeline on Sunday in a remote area near Okemah, about 75 miles east of Oklahoma City, and set the timer. The timer, however, was just a clock-face drawn on Miss March’s left boob.
FBI agent Jewels Spinninger said of the device, “In order to explode this device would have required an important additional element: an actual bomb.”
Hours before Herriman made that call, employees of the company that runs the line, Houston-based Enerfin Resources, found the device and alerted authorities, the FBI said. Several also reportedly peed their pants laughing.
Not remarkably, the device did not explode and the pipeline was undamaged.
Spinninger said Herriman had no connection to the company other than the whole wanting to blow them up thing. Herriman was in federal custody in Muskogee, Oklahoma, on Friday and it was not clear if he had yet obtained an attorney. “We’re waiting for one that does not laugh and wave his hands as he leaves the building.”
An affidavit filed with the criminal complaint on Friday said FBI agents searched Herriman’s residence, found items like those used to make the device, and arrested him without incident. They also noted those items were available at Costco and considered bringing them in for questioning as well. “At the last moment we remembered the Playboy. Costco does not sell Playboy,” Spinninger said.
After Herriman’s arrest, his 73-year-old father Dan told Reuters his son had been undergoing treatment for years for mental health problems, which had worsened recently.
“He said he’s been hearing voices for the last couple weeks,” the elder Herriman said. “He was trying to get back to the V.A. (Veteran’s Administration hospital). I’ve tried to explain to him that his bombs suck, but in his mental state he just keeps building them. Ruining all my old Playboys, too.”
When asked why prosecute someone who didn’t actually build a workable bomb, Spinninger said, “We at the FBI don’t discriminate based on someone’s complete inability to actually commit the crime they are attempting.”