Lab bombing suspect arrested

Police in Watertown, Mass., take Brad Karger into custody for explosion at Amaranth Bio

Sep 1, 2004
John Dudley Miller(johnmiller@nasw.org)

The prime suspect in last Thursday's pipe bombing of a commercial biotech laboratory in suburban Boston was arrested this morning a few miles away from the lab, according to police.

Capt. Thomas Rocca, spokesman for the Watertown Police Department, told The Scientist at 9:30 a.m. EST that Brad Karger, 29, was arrested "probably 5 minutes ago, by the Waltham [District] Court." That court serves Watertown, where the explosion took place.

The explosion at 3 a.m. last Thursday blew out a number of windows at Amaranth Bio, a startup biotech company. Karger had come under suspicion because he is awaiting trial on arson charges after he allegedly attempted to burn down the building in February 2003 by leaving the valves to gas burners turned on overnight. At the time he was working as a temporary technician at Vicam, another biotech laboratory in the same building.

Asked if the arrest location meant that Karger had voluntarily surrendered, Rocca said, "I don't have the specifics because the officers are just getting into the station now." Karger will be processed, then taken back to the court for arraignment, the officer said.

A press release issued by Watertown police last night, August 31, referred to Karger as "the individual believed to be responsible" and said he would be charged with placing an explosive device and burning a building.

Last Friday Watertown Police and other law enforcement agencies searched Karger's family home in nearby Framingham, Mass. Asked if the search produced evidence that led to Karger's arrest, Rocca referred to the press release, which states that "as a result of the investigation and evidence gathered an arrest warrant was issued out of Waltham District Court."