ATF provides update on anniversary of Monroe car bombing
Attorney Erik Chappell and his two sons were seriously injured when their car exploded in 2011. ATF and Monroe Police later determined the explosion was the result of a bombing. (Source: Monroe Evening News)
Chappell’s vehicle was completely destroyed by the explosion and subsequent flames.
A large scorch mark was visible for months on Elm Street near I-75 in Monroe, where the bomb exploded.
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On Friday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Detroit Field Division released more information in the Sept. 29, 2011 car bombing that resulted in serious injuries to Ohio Attorney Erik Chappell and his two sons. The explosion occurred near the 1600 block of East Elm Avenue in Monroe, MI, where Chappell and his sons were traveling to a scheduled football practice.
ATF Explosives Enforcement Officer Michael Eggleston released information regarding the improvised explosive device used in the bombing. He indicated that the explosive device planted on Chappell's vehicle was unique and intended to cause serious bodily injury, if not death.
"What makes this device unique is that it's a remote-controlled device designed by the bomber to attack in the line of sight, allowing ultimate control over both the device and the victim," said Eggleston.
An IED is essentially a homemade bomb that is not commercially manufactured, but may have commercial components included. Some of the commercial components believed to be used in the construction of the IED were from toy cars, according to ATF forensic chemists at ATF's National Laboratory.
Some of the components used may have come from toy vehicles manufactured and sold under the brand names of Electrix RC, The Ruckus Monster Truck (Orange), Ruckus Monster Truck (Green), Circuit Stadium Truck (Red), Circuit Stadium Truck (Gray) Boost Buggy (Orange) and the Boost Buggy (Blue) model.
According to Chappell, his sons are doing as well as can be expected.
"Physically they are doing well, but it is weighing on their minds. They do ask about the incident and wonder when the individuals responsible will be brought to justice," said Chappell.
Chappell continued to ask for the public's help in identifying the individual or individuals responsible for this crime. He also thanked ATF and the Monroe Police Department for their continued hard work and persistence in the investigation.
"The bomber - the individual responsible for this destructive act against Mr. Chappell and his sons - displayed the skill and knowledge to construct this device and did not hesitate in detonating the device, in spite of the presence of Mr. Chappell's children. This investigation remains a high priority for ATF," said Daryl McCrary, ATF Detroit Field Division acting special agent in charge. "We must bring this individual or individuals to justice; we need the public's assistance."
According to an ATF profiler, the suspect or suspects held such a grievance toward Chappell, that he or she was willing to kill him and innocent children. The use of command detonation, along with the shrapnel to increase the lethality of the device, supports this theory.
According to the ATF, individuals who use explosives to engage in such target-specific extreme violence often exhibit the following personality traits:
Seek excessive revenge for perceived grievances, using the motto, "I don't get mad, I get even."
Possess an anger that is noted by others around them. In fact, friends and family members may have suffered verbal, physical and emotional abuse, due to temper.
Anger may color their thinking, blaming others for perceived mistakes and shortcomings in their own life. They may not take appropriate responsibility for their actions.
Self-centered – it's all about them. They may display a degree of callousness or lack of concern for the rights of others.
Engage in other criminal behavior, such as fraud, scheme, property crime and assault.
Typically have problems in their lives, particularly with their relationships and employment.
The individual or individuals responsible would have had to have a private workspace to store, assemble and construct the device. These skills would have been developed through employment or hobbies, according to ATF profilers.
There may be more than one subject involved in this crime, and the mastermind behind the plan enlisted the help of another to execute it. This factor will increase the likelihood that others may possess knowledge of this crime without realizing its significance.
"You or someone you know may possess knowledge of this crime. You may recognize the personality traits or behaviors as belonging to someone you know. If you have direct knowledge of this case and fear for your safety, we can protect you. This crime may have taken a far more dangerous turn than someone with inside knowledge expected. No one, especially innocent children, should be put in danger at the hands of this subject ever again," said McCrary.
ATF urges anyone with more information to call the ATF Hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB or ATF ANN ARBOR at 1-734-887-0060.
ATF wants to remind the public that there is a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for this crime.