Suspect in Virginia home bombings captured in Montana - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Suspect in Virginia home bombings captured in Montana

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Laurence Alan Stewart II (Stafford County Sheriff's Office) Laurence Alan Stewart II (Stafford County Sheriff's Office)

A nationwide manhunt for a Stafford County pipe bombing suspect came to an explosive end in Montana.

Laurence Alan Stewart II was wanted for three early morning bombings Tuesday at the homes of an ex-girlfriend, a Stafford County Sheriff's Deputy and a detective.

Investigators believe he headed to Montana immediately after the third bombing.

After getting pulled over for speeding, Montana State Troopers learned Stewart was wanted in Virginia.

Stewart took off, lobbing at least four pipe bombs at the officers pursuing him.

Police disabled his vehicle with spike strips, and he abandoned it and fled on foot. Stewart was taken into custody after a foot chase.

He will be extradited back to Virginia to face numerous charges, including attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.

Stafford County Sheriff Charles Jett says the arrest is welcome news for law enforcement officers and the community.

"There's no doubt this individual was not done, and probably wouldn't stop until he killed someone," Jett says.

The pursuit and arrest involved at least 50 agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

"It's a relief to have this predator off the street," ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge James Newman says.

Stewart, who was accused of a violent incident involving his live-in girlfriend in June, complained bitterly in an online website about "injustice" in Stafford County, Va. In one posting, he wrote: "With all of the lies and dirty dealings I feel like I do not have a chance for justice. At this point, I might as well commit some crimes. If I am to be blamed for wrongdoing I should at least have some fun and do whatever I want without regard."

The website Stewart operated is called On it, anarchist symbols are prominently displayed, and he describes police officers as "pigs." A black officer involved in his case is referred to by a racial epithet. 

Early Tuesday morning, three different homes were attacked by pipe bombs in Stafford County and in nearby Fredericksburg, Va. Authorities say Stewart's former girlfriend lived in one of the homes, a sheriff's department deputy lived in another, and the third residence was formerly occupied by another deputy.

In Virginia, Stewart has been charged with two counts of Attempted Capital Murder Of A Law Enforcement Officer, and multiple counts of Arson Of An Occupied Dwelling.

According to the sworn testimony of his [then] live-in girlfriend, in June, Stewart choked the woman, and held her up against a refrigerator with her feet off the ground.

A protective order was issued at the Stafford County Courthouse, and was enforced by local sheriff's deputies.

Federal ATF agents swarmed through Stafford County in the past two days because of the attacks on both the ex-girlfriend and the lawmen who were enforcing the protective order.


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