Germantown man charged in connection with suspicious devices at Rep. Evans office, West Oak Lane rec center

A 20-year-old Germantown man has been charged in connection with the suspicious devices thrown at state Rep. Dwight Evans’ campaign office and a West Oak Lane recreation center on Monday.

Malachi Bryan, of the 100 block of E. Mayland St., was charged with possession of an instrument of crime, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and related offenses in connection with the case.

What exactly happened?

At around 4:30 p.m. Monday, police responded to the 7200 block of Limekiln Pike for reports of a device giving off smoke outside of an office belonging to Evans.

Upon arrival, police found a container that appeared to be leaking a green fluid that was smoking.

The PPD’s Bomb Squad was notified, and after processing the scene determined that the device – a 20-inch plastic water bottle filled with a green liquid inside a plastic bag – was not explosive, but highly caustic. Neither worker in the office was injured.

Shortly thereafter, a second device was found at nearby Simons Recreation Center on Woolston Avenue.

What was it?

Officer Christine O’Brien, a police-department spokeswoman, said investigators believe the liquid to be, in part, bathroom cleaner.

The plastic-bottle device was designed to enable chemical agents to interact, causing it to expand and burst, giving off smoke in the process.

Evans told NewsWorks that he had never met the suspect and had no idea what could have motivated the alleged crimes.

He noted that a witness to the bottle being thrown at his office’s front windows led investigators to Simons Rec, where police caught up with Mayland.

“It’s a cause for concern anytime people act spontaneously like that,” said Evans. “It could have gone the opposite direction, with people getting hurt. I’m happy the police and everybody responded so quickly.”

Bail information was not immediately for Mayland, who is awaiting a June 11 trial date in a separate case for charges including possession of instrument of crime and making repairs or selling a weapon illegally.

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