Charges against “pop” bomber dropped

Cameron Koch

It’s been four weeks since the WKU Police Department filed felony charges against a student responsible for throwing chemical-filled plastic bottles into the Pearce Ford Tower Courtyard — charges that have now been dropped.

The commonwealth attorney’s office and Kentucky’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives both declined to press criminal charges against the student suspect.


 Deborah Wilkins, chief of staff and general counsel, said WKU will be handling the situation internally.

“The matter has been referred to Student Affairs and will be handled as a student disciplinary matter,” Wilkins said.

Judicial Affairs will call in the student, whose name is not being released, to discuss the student’s actions, Wilkins said.

The student is the suspect behind at least three “pop” bombings, named by WKUPD for the loud, gunshot-like sound the bottles make when they explode.

“It’s not so much to punish them, though there may be some punishment involved in it, but to make sure they understand why what they did was wrong,” Wilkins said.

“It’s kind of like the principal calling you in,” Wilkins said.“It’s more of a mentoring process.”

Mandi Johnson, WKUPD public information officer, said at the time the department decided to file the charges against the student they weren’t entirely sure what they were dealing with.

“We kind of wanted to get the word out that if this kind of stuff happens we are going to try and curtail it by going after a pretty serious charge,” Johnson said.

Johnson said WKUPD’s role in the matter is settled for the moment, but if “pop” bombings continue the department will look at all its options in dealing with the student suspect.