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News Maryland Anne Arundel County Glen Burnie

Man suspected in theater 'bottle bombing' cases held in Prince George's

A 20-year-old Bowie man accused in a movie theater "bottle bomb" incident in Prince George's County is also a suspect in other similar incidents across the region, inclduing a March incident in Anne Arundel County, law enforcement authorities said.

Manuel Joyner-Bell is being held at the Prince George's County Department of Corrections on a no bond status, and is facing a detonation of a destructive device charge in connection with a bottle bomb explosion at the Magic Johnson Theater in Largo on May 24. No one was injured.

Similar incidents have been reported throughout the region in recent months, including one on March 10 one at Cinemark Egyptian 24 in Anne Arundel County.

Joyner-Bell had not been charged in that incident as of Monday afternoon, though police said additional charges against him are pending.

At a press conference Monday, Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor said Joyner-Bell was arrested Saturday night by investigators with the Prince George's County Office of the Fire Marshal, with assistance by the Prince George's County Police and Anne Arundel County Police and Fire department personnel. Also on hand were units from the Montgomery County police and fire departments, Alexandria and Fairfax, Va., police and fire departments, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Joyner-Bell's bail had originally been set at $50 million, but was raised to no bond during a bond review hearing Monday. If convicted of the charge, Joyner-Bell faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, police said.

His preliminary hearing has been set for June 26.

At Monday's press conference, police displayed a map of the recent incidents they described as "bottle bombings," which included the Cinemark Egyptian 24 incident March 10, an incident at an Alexandria theater on April 5, one at a Montgomery County theater on May 4 and two in Tysons Corner, Va., theaters on May 18 and 25.

In the Arundel incident, the theater was evacuated after patrons heard a loud bang. Police later said officers found the remains of juice bottle that had been filled with some sort of fireworks.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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