Police: Arlington man threw homemade bomb into neighbor's driveway

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by SHON GABLES

WFAA

Posted on May 12, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Updated Monday, May 13 at 5:38 PM

Homemade bomb scare

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ARLINGTON -- Frustration and disbelief is just the beginning for this Arlington homeowner.

He didn't want to give his name or speak on camera, but he did show us the bullet mark on his truck and the melted plastic from a homemade bomb his neighbor tossed into his driveway.

"It's crazy," said eyewitness Rob McLain, who lives several doors down from Michael Alex Johnson's home on in the 400 block of Quail Roost Lane in Arlington.

Johnson, 32, allegedly lit an eight-gallon bucket of gasoline on fire and tossed it between two vehicles, as McLain said he looked on in horror. Police say the bucket also contained a towel with 50 bullets wrapped inside. Some of them fired off.

"Thank goodness he came out when he did", McLain said of Johnson's neighbor, who was targeted in the attack. "There was enough fuel and gasoline in there that when they put it out, the stench of gasoline was there for 30-to-35 minutes."

For several hours, homes within 300 feet of Johnson's were evacuated. Arlington police then secured a warrant, and removed several large pieces of evidence from Johnson's home. Investigators would not go into detail, but confirmed they recovered bomb-making materials.

"Yes, there were the makings of a pipe bomb that were collected and put under investigation," said an Arlington Fire Department spokesman.

Johnson's parents, who rent the home, are said to be fully cooperating. Neighbors say they had no clue about Johnson's past, which includes a criminal record.

"When it happen right next door to your house, it's very, very strange", said neighbor Brian Saylor.

Johnson's mother told News 8 her son is mentally ill. She said she was turned away in the past when she tried to get him help, and she didn't know the bomb-making materials were in the house.

When asked why she let her son stay with her when she knew he needed professional help, she said, "You never turn your back on your child."

She said she's spent her entire Mother's Day crying.

Police say no one was hurt.

Michael Alex Johnson was charged with arson. Bond has been set for $2 million.

E-mail sgables@wfaa.com

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