Complaint: Bloomfield man threw explosives from his car

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Jonah Beleckis
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

ELKHORN—A town of Bloomfield man has been charged with recklessly endangering safety after Walworth County prosecutors say he threw explosive devices out of his car while driving and pointed a gun at someone.

Witnesses told Bloomfield police Nov. 21 that Robert J. Leathers, 46, of N2020 County H, No. 219, was trying to run people over with his car and threw three to five explosive devices out of his vehicle, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

Leathers is charged with first-degree recklessly endangering safety with use of a dangerous weapon, three counts of possession of explosives for an unlawful purpose and misdemeanor pointing a firearm at another.

Police at about 5:32 p.m. Nov. 21 were dispatched to a property on County H, according to the complaint. When an officer arrived, Leathers drove down a cul-de-sac, turned around and then drove within two feet of the officer's car, which was positioned to block the exit.

Police ordered Leathers out of the car and he complied, the complaint states. Leathers told police there was a gun and explosive devices in the car. The explosives had fuses that would need to be manually started with a flame.

Five people standing near a driveway witnessed parts of the incident, according to the complaint. One man got into his own vehicle and chased Leathers around the property.

The man heard “pops” but was not certain if they were gunshots or explosive devices, the complaint states. The man tried to block Leathers near the driveway, and Leathers pointed a gun at him.

Another man told police he saw Leathers light a fuse and throw what he thought was a firework toward a green work truck parked on the property, according to the complaint. The man said Leathers drove toward him and swerved away at the last moment.

The Kenosha County Bomb Squad reported finding five improvised explosive devices in the area, the complaint states. Some of the devices appeared to be caulking tubes with fuses, and some had burn marks, which is a sign they were detonated.

The bomb squad reported finding two explosive devices in Leathers' car and one in his home, according to the complaint. Police on Nov. 24 found three more devices in his car.

Judge Daniel Johnson set a $100,000 cash bond for Leathers on Nov. 22, according to court records.

Leathers made his initial appearance in court Tuesday, court records show. He is next set for a preliminary hearing at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4.

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