Detectives with the Williamson County Sheriff’s office have arrested a 47-year-old man Tuesday morning after an investigation by deputies found several improvised explosive devices (IEDs) inside his Texas home.
At approximately 8 a.m. Tuesday, John Christopher Crawson was arrested for the offense of terroristic threat against a family member — a third-degree felony — at his home located at 2564 Santa Barbara Loop, outside the city limits of Round Rock, Texas.
After police executed a search warrant and found the explosives inside Crawson’s home, the sheriff’s office immediately called in the Austin Police Department Bomb Unit and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to assist with the situation.
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Lt. Jason Braeutigam, a detective for the Criminal Investigations Unit for Williamson County department, said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that precautions were put in place to safeguard the neighborhood and adjacent homes.
He added the agencies would remain at the location until the IEDs could be safely removed and asked that the public avoid the area.
According to the Patch, six nearby homes were evacuated during the search and no injuries were reported. By 4 p.m., residents were reportedly able to return to their homes once officials reopened the street.
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One of Crawson’s neighbors, Sonia Guardado, told the Austin American Statesman newspaper that the residents of his street got together to issue a statement.
“We’re very close-knit,” Guardado said. “We’re all hurting right now.”
Neighbor Ray Jenkins, a retired teacher with the Round Rock school district, told the Statesman that Crawson’s two sons were students of his in middle school.
“It’s an absolute surprise is all I can say,” said Jenkins, who has lived in the neighborhood for 10 years.
Another neighbor, 74-year-old Rod Hobbs, told the outlet Crawson was always doing things for people, noting that he picked up the tree limbs from a neighbors yard following the state’s winter storm and put them in a trailer parked in his driveway.
“He’s always a nice guy,” Hobbs said. “Does things for everybody.”
“It’s hard to believe — but anything’s possible,” he added.
While authorities didn’t offer details about Crawson’s family situation, neighbors said he and his wife were going through an “ugly divorce”, according to the Austin newspaper.
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Braeutigam noted that it was unclear as of Tuesday afternoon whether the explosives were made in the home or purchased elsewhere. The investigation remains ongoing.