Acid bomb sparks concern

By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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The latest in a series of vandalism and fire related incidents at a popular Rocklin park is concerning nearby residents. Last Monday a Rocklin resident discovered, what the fire department describes, as an exploded acid bomb. Police and firefighters were called to the scene at Breen Park, which is located at the corner of Shelton Street and Swindon Road to investigate and clean it up. Generally an acid bomb is homemade and uses a plastic bottle filled with an over the counter acid and a reacting base, much like the reaction between vinegar and baking soda. The chemical reaction creates an expanding gas, which builds up pressure inside the sealed bottle until it explodes, according to the fire department. Acid bombs have been popular as a prank on YouTube but experts warn they can injure anyone around them. “Sometimes young people don’t think out the consequences,” said Rocklin Fire Chief Bill Mikesell. “If acid gets in your face or on your skin, you can be marred for life. People lose their hearing, they lose their eyesight and they lose fingers.” Police want anyone to call them if they think they see an acid bomb. “Stay away from any empty 2 litter (soda) bottles that they see arbitrarily sitting in the park because those are usually the method used for the acid bombs,” said Rocklin Police Lt. Lon Milka. Residents in the area are no stranger to reporting suspicious activity at Breen Park. The day before the incident, police were called to the park for illegal fireworks going off and in the past there have been various reports of vandalism including someone torching plastic garbage cans, according to police. In September, someone burned down one of the playground structures in the park causing $40,000 in damage. “We have asked the patrol teams to put more time out there, to see if they can see anything,” Milka said. “We ask the public to be aware as well. Look for anything suspicious.” Residents who live nearby like Curt Crews said he’s well aware of problems in the park and said the escalation of incidents has forced him to keep his 7-year-old daughter away. “The acid bomb really concerns me,” Crews said. “Lighting a trash can is one thing. Now we’re talking chemicals involved and potential health danger and explosive, it brings it to a whole new level.” Crews’s neighbor, Lisa Dasmacci installed security lights and surveillance cameras after she became a victim of vandalism. She blames parents for not watching their kids. “There is too much late night things going on,” Dasmacci said. “The kids need to be caught and educated.” Police warn minors of the citywide curfew law that bars them from being out alone after 11 p.m. without an adult. Citizens are also required to leave neighborhood parks one hour after sunset until 6 a.m. Officers have been citing individuals for being in the park after the city ordinances allow. Crews said he hopes the police can stop the incident from getting out of control. “I think they need to do a much better job of watching that park,” Crews said. “I hope they find the right person and take them off the streets so I can let me kid go to the park.”