Police: Precursors to explosive device found in home of Newark rape suspect


Investigators will analyze what they’re calling the “precursors” to an explosive device found in the apartment of a Newark rape suspect.

The Columbus Bomb Squad was called to the home on S. Westmoor Avenue Wednesday, after the discovery of suspicious materials including black powder and electronics in the home of Christopher Carson.

Police say probation officers discovered the materials in Carson's basement when they went into the home to look for evidence he had violated his probation.

Carson is accused of sexually assaulting a 25-year-old woman early Tuesday morning.

The woman told police she had given him a ride home, when he began punching her in the head and then raped her.

Police and fire investigators said their response Wednesday was out of an abundance of caution.

"We did not observe any kind of device. I want to make that loud and clear,” said Newark Police Sgt. Scott Snow. “What we're looking into is the potential for device-making, and that's why we've called the bomb squad in, to view the materials that we found, their placement, their significance."

Neighbors on either side were evacuated while investigators studied and removed the materials.

Carson was arrested Tuesday morning when he was found wandering naked around his apartment complex.

As they were taking him into custody, police received a report of a woman who had been sexually assaulted about a half mile from away.

Late Tuesday they charged Carson in that rape. Wednesday a judge ordered him held on $100,000 bond.

In court his attorney said he is a Marine Corps veteran who had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"He's a decorated war veteran. He was over in Afghanistan, served bravely,” said Robert Calesaric. “[He] was in some very serious action over there, and carries a lot of scars because of that."

Carson remained in custody in the Licking County jail Tuesday night.

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