Researcher Arrested for Explosion at UC Davis Apartment

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David Synder, 32, has been arrested in connection to the blast that rocked a UC Davis apartment complex Thursday morning, UCD Police announced Saturday.

Investigators said Friday that, thanks to the amount of chemicals found inside the apartment, the case had become a criminal investigation.

Materials that could be used to make bombs and firearms were found inside, police note. However, police also note that they do not believe Snyder intended to harm anyone.

“While we have no information to suggest that Mr. Snyder was plotting some broader crime on the campus, in today’s environment the potential safety risk to the community must be taken extremely seriously,” said UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael in a statement Saturday.

As reported on Thursday, a UC Davis researcher had to be treated for injuries. Police now say that it was Snyder who was injured. He is still in the hospital and hasn’t been booked at this time.

Snyder earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UC Davis back in 2004, then a Ph.D. in chemistry back in 2011. He was working at UC Davis as a junior researcher.

The whole ordeal lasted more than 20 hours Thursday, with 40 units in the area – amounting to 74 UC Davis students – needing to be evacuated.  Help had to be called in to remove the dangerous chemicals from the apartment, with authorities eventually resorting to exploding some of the items that couldn’t be removed.

Synder now faces felony charges of possession an explosive, possessing materials with intent to make an explosive, and possessing firearms on campus. He may face more charges down the road, police note.

No one else was injured in the explosion, police say.

Sunday afternoon, UC Davis officials announced that Snyder was booked into Yolo County Jail. His bail was set at $2 million.


Dennis Shanahan and Katie Hackett contributed to this story.

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