Police Arrest Texas Man for Allegedly Attempting to Blow Up Confederate Statue

The statue of Dick Dowling, which guards the entrance to Hermann Park on Cambridge Street, dates from 1905, and is the work of Frank A. Teich. It is also the first publicly financed monument in Houston
File Photo: City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department

HOUSTON, Texas — Houston police officers arrested a young man for allegedly attempting to plant explosives at a Confederate statue Saturday night. FBI officials confirmed the suspect is connected to the ongoing FBI search and investigation of a house near Rice University.

SEE RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Facts about Texan Charged for Allegedly Attempting to Bomb Confederate Statue

FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Deron F. Ogletree told reporters Monday afternoon in Houston that Andrew Cecil Earhart Schneck is in custody and is charged with attempting to maliciously damage or destroy property receiving federal assistance. Park rangers observed Schneck kneeling among bushes in front of the statue of Confederate General Richard Dowling, Ogletree said.

A search of Schneck’s home revealed items in his possession that “were capable of producing a viable explosive device,” Ogletree confirmed.  He reassured the public there was no additional threat to the community at this time and asked the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity.

Neighbors who spoke with Breitbart Texas near Schneck’s home Sunday evening said they never observed any suspicious behavior at the home. Other neighbors remembered the 2013 incident where FBI officials raided Schneck’s home. Officials eventually found picric acid in a residence at 411 Fall River Road in Houston, court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed. The chemical is used to create military-grade explosives.

FBI agents execute a search warrant on a home where they suspect bomb-making materials are stored. (Photo: Bob Price/Breitbart Texas)

The incident leading to the suspect’s arrest occurred at about 11 p.m. on Saturday night in Herman Park. Police made contact with the man as he approached the statue of Confederate General Richard Dowling, the Houston Chronicle reported. A source told the reporter the suspected attempted to drink the liquid explosives when police approached him.

The Herman Park incident followed a Saturday afternoon protest at Sam Houston Park. Communists, Democratic Socialists, Brown Berets, anarchists, Black Lives Matter, and other supporters of the “Destroy the Confederacy!” movement marched to demand that city officials tear down the “Spirit of the Confederacy Statue,” Breitbart Texas reported. The protest drew less than 500 protesters and about 50 to 75 counter-protesters.

Houston police monitor protesters and maintain the peace during a “Destroy the Confederacy” protest in Houston. (Photo: Lana Shadwick, Breitbart Texas)

It is not yet known if the suspected bomber attended that protest.

Following the arrest of the man with liquid explosives, police executed a search warrant on a home located at 2025 Albans, near Rice University. Neighbors told Breitbart Texas this is the second time in four years this has happened at the same home.

In 2013, federal agents raided the same home searching for chemicals that could be used to make “tear gas or nerve gas,” the local newspaper reported. The agents later determined the material to be a military-grade explosive.

Following the 2013 raid on this same home, then-22-year-old Andrew Cecil Earhart Schneck pleaded guilty to knowingly storing high explosives. He received a five-year probation for the incident. A judge released Schnek early from his probation in 2016, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Houston officials ordered the evacuation of the block Monday morning in advance of possible “controlled detonations” of materials found inside the home. Officials warned the FBI actions could produce loud noise, smoke, and possible property damage to nearby homes, Breitbart Texas reported.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with additional information.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.


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