A couple honked at a female driver they thought might hit their vehicle in a McDonald’s drive-thru in Australia on Feb. 22. The next day, the windows of their Ford Ranger pickup were smashed, reports the Sun. Less than two weeks later, a bomb placed beneath the truck exploded. It was "grievance-fueled violence" sparked by a "benign" interaction, Detective Superintendent Michael McLean says, per the Guardian. According to police, Ryan Sharp began a six-week campaign of online harassment, intimidation and death threats after his girlfriend tried to file a police report about the couple's initial toot in Warrawong. A specialist police squad targeting potential would-be terrorists eventually helped locate the pair, who were arrested in Illawarra on Tuesday, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
The Australian Associated Press describes Sharp, 33, as a tradesman with knowledge of electronics, who was also allegedly threatening another person. "The work done by this male to identify where the victim lived was quite ingenious and indicated a specific intent," says McLean. Police note a pipe bomb, drone, and baton were among several items seized during searches of a home and car. Sharp, taken into custody by cops in riot gear, faces numerous charges including using a carriage service to threaten to kill, destroying or damaging property, and placing an explosive on a vehicle with the intent to cause harm. His 31-year-old girlfriend is charged with being an accessory after the fact to destroying or damaging property, and stalking or intimidating. (Read more bomb stories.)