A Richlands, Virginia man, who appeared at a health clinic with severe injuries to his hands and fingers, is charged with lying to federal investigators about how he was injured and whether or not he possessed explosives.
Cole Carini, 23, appeared to be planning an incel bomb attack on “hot cheerleaders” accidentally blew off his hand with explosives, authorities say.
He was arrested and was charged Friday, with one count of lying to federal agents.
According to court documents, on June 3, 2020, Carini went to a health clinic in Richlands suffering from an amputated hand, amputated fingers on the opposite hand, and shrapnel wounds to the neck and throat.
After being interviewed at the hospital by officers, Carini reported that his injuries were caused by a lawn mower accident at his home.
“When asked if he remembered what happened to put him in hospital,” authorities wrote in a criminal complaint, “Carini told the [FBI] Agents that he was mowing his yard and the mower flipped over in such a way that it [dragged] his hands into the blades and because the blades were spinning so fast it acted like a bomb.”
During a search of Carini’s home, agents found the lawn was overgrown and found no other evidence indicating a lawn mower had recently been used.
They did, however, find evidence of an explosion, more consistent with the types of injuries Carini had suffered.
A trail of blood lead investigators to a bedroom where blinds had been shredded by shrapnel and the walls and ceilings were covered with blood spatters and chunks of human flesh.
Agents also discovered significant quantities of what is believed to be Triacetone Triperoxide, an explosive substance used in the creation of improvised explosive devices.
Agents also said they discovered explosive chemicals and a box of rusty nails that could be used as shrapnel, among other items that could be used to make bombs, including PVC pipes and hot plates.
When questioned again, Carini insisted that he was injured when the lawn mower flipped over while he was mowing the grass.
Carini also stated he had no explosives in his residence.
In a nearby shed, authorities found a crumpled letter that discussed a suicide bomber walking through a shopping mall while concealing “deadly objects” to target a “stage of hot cheerleaders.”
“I will not be afraid of the consequences,” read the letter. “No matter what I will be heroic. I will make a statement like Elliot Rodgers [sic] did., he thought to himself.”
The investigation of the case is ongoing and is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Virginia State Police (VSP), the Richlands Police Department and the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant United States Attorneys Zachary T. Lee and Whit Pierce are prosecuting the case for the United States.
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