Explosive device found in car near Three County Fairgrounds


Sunday, May 27, 2018

NORTHAMPTON — Police found a small homemade explosive device in a car near the Three County Fairgrounds on Friday night after a chase through three communities. Police apprehended two of the three boys ages 15 and 16 who were in the car.

The device found in the vehicle was “rendered safe” by the Massachusetts State Police bomb squad, according to Department of Fire Services spokeswoman Jennifer Mieth. Western Mass News quoted Mieth as stating that the explosive device, while technically an improvised explosive device, was like a small firework.

The pursuit started in South Hadley and continued on Route 5 in Holyoke. Northampton Police responded at around 8:15 p.m. and followed a white Cadillac with Vermont plates that was traveling in the middle of the road at an “excessive speed,” Detective Sgt. Victor Caputo said Saturday.

The car was damaged when it struck a fence near Optical Studio on Pleasant Street, police said. It then turned onto Holyoke Street and an officer ended the pursuit after the car turned onto a side street near Day Avenue.

A short time later, police received a call that the car was parked on Old Ferry Road in the Meadows next to the Three County Fairgrounds. Witnesses told police three teenage boys left the vehicle and took off on foot.

Two were quickly apprehended, police said. It was unclear Saturday whether they will face charges. A third boy, age 17, believed to have been involved turned himself in to South Hadley Police, Caputo said Sunday.

The improvised explosive device was found when police searched the car, which was towed from the area shortly after midnight.

The incident remains under investigation.

Staff writer Emily Cutts contributed to this report.