Pickerington Maintenance Worker Relies On Training When Faced With Possible Explosive Bottle Of Meth


UPDATED: Wednesday March 27, 2013 6:28 PM

It looks like an ordinary bottle of water, but city workers in Pickerington are learning why things are not always what they seem.

Wayne Patterson thought he was just picking up trash, like discarded water bottles, when his morning routine last week took a scary turn.

“As I was taking the cap off of it, it kind of like popped really hard,” said Patterson, a maintenance worker with the city’s parks department.

Patterson said he remembered recent training he received from the state crime lab, where agents from the Bureau of Criminal Investigations showed Pickerington city workers the dangers behind the so called one-pot meth labs.

When Patterson found two other bottles with clear liquid that same morning, he said he knew better than to use his hands.

“If you notice how these bottles give, that wouldn’t give at all when I picked it up with my trash picker,” Patterson said.

Police and fire officials were called, and both bottles instantly exploded when they tried to defuse the liquid chemicals inside, Patterson said.

“They exploded the other little bottle with their first fire pole, and it just ‘Kapoooo,’ Patterson said. “It was something. I’m not sure what it was.”

Pickerington Police Cmdr. Matt Delp said that the items were most likely juveniles experimenting, but they go by many names – MacGyver bombs and works bombs, among other things.

Delp showed demonstration videos of exploding bottles to a group of Pickerington employees Wednesday morning, illustrating how meth can be made anywhere and in anything.

Because of the potentially hazardous situation, Patterson said he wanted to share his story during Wednesday's monthly safety seminar.

“If some little kid got ahold of that or tried to open the lid, it’s hard to say what would have happened,” Patterson said.

Thanks to the meth training and safety seminars, everyone, not just police or fire officials, can do their part.

“If some little kid got ahold of that or tried to open the lid, it’s hard to say what would have happened,” Patterson said.

Patterson said that because of what happened, the city is looking to put on another safety seminar for part-time workers this coming summer. Representatives from the Ohio Attorney General's Office said they have been training law enforcement, firefighters and typical first responders about the dangers of meth labs since 2004.

According to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the AG’s Office sees an average of 600 meth labs each year, with most of them using the one-pot method.

Agents are now expanding training to different groups, like road workers, clean-up crews, children services workers and meter readers, since they can spot dangers in people's home and along the roadways.

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