Man Charged With Trying to Blow Up Confederate Statue
He was found at base of statue in Houston park
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2017 12:11 AM CDT
Houston firefighters arrive a the scene of a "law enforcement operation" led by the FBI in Houston.   (Godofredo A. Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)
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(Newser) – There is a nationwide debate over what to do about Confederate statues—but just about everybody agrees that Andrew Schneck's approach is not the way forward. The 25-year-old man was arrested Saturday for allegedly trying to blow up a statute of Confederate Lt. Dick Dowling in Houston's Hermann Park, CNN reports. According to court documents, a park ranger spotted Schneck kneeling in the bushes near the statue with boxes containing a detonator, a timer, and a bottle of nitroglycerin, among other items. The ranger says that when she confronted him, he tried to drink some of the liquid explosive before spitting it out on the ground.

Authorities say Schneck admitted he was trying to harm the statue and told police there were more explosives at his home, prompting a massive FBI operation that authorities say uncovered "very hazardous materials." Schneck received five years of probation in 2014 after pleading guilty to improper storage of a high explosive, ABC13 reports. He now faces federal charges of attempting to destroy property and could get up to 40 years in prison. Black Lives Matter Houston organizer Ashton Woods tells the Houston Chronicle that taking down Confederate statues "becomes another thing if you have explosives enough to blow up your neighborhood and take them to a public park. I completely condemn that."

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