COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A faculty member and his 16-year-old son are accused of trying to set off a military-style smoke bomb at a private Colorado boarding school after the father’s contract wasn’t renewed.
The device was found Tuesday in the school’s cafeteria, prompting the evacuation of 300 faculty and teachers from the Fountain Valley School for several hours. The device didn’t detonate, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Jacqueline Kirby said Wednesday.
Bryan Bolding, 46, the school’s technology director, was arrested on suspicion of felony charges including terrorist training activities, conspiracy, possession and use of a hoax incendiary device, child abuse without injury and felony menacing and later released on bond, Kirby said. The son was also arrested but was not identified because he is a juvenile.
The school has about 235 students, a mix of both boarding and day students and is located on 1,100 acres on a former ranch about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Colorado Springs. Tuition for boarding students is about $54,000 a year.
Citing an arrest affidavit filed in court, KRDO-TV reported that Bolding learned in February that his contract would not be renewed. According to the document, his son told authorities that the plot had been in the works for weeks and they originally planned to set off the device at graduation on May 27.
Investigators believe Bolding and his son successfully tested a smoke bomb in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in the area in a test run on Monday. Deputies did not have any information about the people responsible for the detonation at the time but now believe the two incidents are linked, Kirby said. She said investigators were not ready to release a possible motive.
“We’re still putting the pieces together,” she said.
Bolding could not be reached for comment.
A spokeswoman for the school did not respond to a telephone call and an email request for comment.
Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com