Rochester Teen Won’t Face Felony Charges For RCTC Incident
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester teenager who used a chemical reaction to disrupt a pro-life gathering at Rochester Community and Technical College will not face felony charges in connection with the incident.
Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem says 19-year-old Samuel Vanderwiel has been charged with Gross Misdemeanor Harassment-Intent to Injure, Misdemeanor 5th Degree Assault and Disorderly Conduct. He is accused of mixing chemicals in a water bottle to create an extremely foul odor through a chemical reaction commonly referred to as a “stink bomb.” The release of the fumes prompted the evacuation of Hill Theater at RCTC and led to the arrest of the teenager.
A statement issued by Ostrem says Vanderwiel admitted he made a “stink bomb” in an effort to disrupt the community event.
County Attorney Mark Ostrem commented, “Mr. Vanderwiel’s actions caused a significant disturbance. However, more serious felony charges are not appropriate because there was no threat to commit a crime of violence and the device was not a weapon, explosive or other incendiary device. While his actions did cause an evacuation, he did not threaten or use violence to accomplish his goal.”
Vanderwiel was formally arraigned on the charges in Olmsted County Court on Friday.
News Update: Mayo Clinic Planning New Employee Parking Lot