UPDATE: Capitol Threat: MFD Says Liquids in Molotov Cocktails Not Explosive, Nonflammable

UPDATED Wednesday, January 16, 2013 --- 6:43 p.m.

Madison Fire Department Division Chief Lance Langer confirms that the liquids in the Molotov cocktails allegedly brought into the Capitol by Kvon Smith were not explosive and nonflammable.

Press Release from the Madison Fire Department:

On Tuesday, January 15, 2013, the Capitol Police arrested Kvon R. Smith at the State Capitol a few hours before Governor Scott Walker’s State of the State address. The City of Madison’s HAZMAT team, in conjunction with the Dane County Bomb Squad was deployed to identify an unknown substance which Mr. Smith brought into the Capital.

The Madison Fire Department’s response was initiated by a telephone consult with the Capitol Police to the Incident Commander. Engine 1 and the City’s Hazardous Materials Team were then dispatched to respond the Capital.

The team was asked to identify unknown substances that were contained in a backpack that Mr. Smith brought into the Capitol. Quick identification of the product(s) was necessary due to the pending State of the State address that was scheduled to begin within hours.

Initial report to the hazmat team was there were several bottles that contained an unknown product. Dane County EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) Team evaluated the containers and requested hazmat to do further analysis. MFD Hazmat elected to respond in structural firefighter gear with breathing apparatus. Multiple electronic chemical monitors and classifiers were used to determine if the chemicals were safe to place on the mass spectrometer. Mass spectrometry is an analytical technique that identifies the chemical composition of a compound.

The Madison Fire Department’s HAZMAT Team is responsible for both county and regional hazardous material responses. It was one of the first of eight Type 1 Regional Hazardous Materials Response Teams which is currently funded by the State. The Hazmat team was quickly able to make entry and identify the previously unknown substances shortly after arrival.

Funding by the State as a Regional Team, allowed for acquisition of the mass Spectrometry equipment and educational requirements used in the identification of the substances the suspect brought into the Capitol.

This event involved interagency cooperation with Capitol Police, Dane County Sheriff’s Department Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team (EOD), Division of Criminal Justice and the State Crime Lab. ATF and the FBI were contacted regarding this event. Two investigators with the City of Madison Fire Arson also responded to assist with the investigation.

Madison’s HAZMAT is funded by city and county funds. Funding through the State of Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) allows the City of Madison Fire Department to maintain a Level 1 capability.

This response to the Capitol was to a criminal, terrorist event. Madison firefighters and hazmat personnel are trained to respond to Terrorist and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) events and have the capability to identify terrorist chemical, biological and radiological agents.


UPDATED Wednesday, January 16, 2013 --- 2:13 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Investigators have accused a man of bringing four homemade bombs into the Wisconsin Capitol.

The man was booked into the Dane County jail Tuesday. Police have recommended prosecutors charge him with four felony counts of possessing a Molotov cocktail, which generally consists of a bottle full of a flammable liquid and a rag fuse. Police also have recommended one felony count of creating a bomb scare, one felony count of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne will decide what charges, if any, the man will face.

Police learned the man had posted a threat to the capitol on Facebook and arrested him when he entered the building Tuesday afternoon hours before Gov. Scott Walker's State of the State address.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


UPDATED Wednesday, January 16, 2013 --- 1:43 p.m.

Press Release from the DOA:

Capitol Police Prevent Possible Tragedy at Capitol Building

Case referred to Dane County District Attorney for Charges

Yesterday, Capitol Police protected hundreds of people in the state Capitol by apprehending and arresting Kvon Smith, who had stated on his Facebook page that he was going to come to the Capitol to do harm. Smith was apprehended in the rotunda, and he stated that he had a Molotov cocktail in his backpack.

Smith has been booked in the Dane County jail on the following tentative charges:

-Four felony counts of possession of Molotov cocktails
-One felony count of creating a bomb scare
-One felony count of Second Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety
-One misdemeanor of Disorderly Conduct

“A tragedy was avoided and our Capitol remains safe because of the actions of our officers yesterday,” said Secretary Mike Huebsh. He also thanks all the law enforcement from the Wisconsin State Patrol, Department of Natural Resources, DOJ Department of Criminal Investigation, UW Madison, City of Milwaukee, and City of Madison for their assistance in yesterday’s events.

Smith will remain in custody and the case has been turned over to the Dane County District Attorney for charges. The Dane County DA’s office will determine final charges and further action in the case.


UPDATED Tuesday, January 15, 2013 --- 3:44 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Police have arrested a man who allegedly threatened the Wisconsin Capitol on his Facebook page and then told officers he had a molotov cocktail in his backpack after entering the building.

The arrest occurred Tuesday afternoon, just hours before Gov. Scott Walker was scheduled to deliver his State of the State speech to lawmakers at the Capitol.

Police closed one entrance and evacuated a portion of the building as they investigated the contents of the man's backpack outside.

The governor's administration released a statement saying the suspect is in custody and charges are pending.

The release says Capitol Police received information about the Facebook threat and then identified the suspect after he entered the building.

No injuries were reported.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted Tuesday, January 15, 2013 --- 3:03 p.m.

Information from the DOA:

There is extra security at the Capitol today as a precaution prior to the State of the State address this evening, where all of Wisconsin’s highest elected officials will be present. This is consistent with protocol in previous years.

Earlier today, Capitol Police received information about a possible threat at the Capitol where an individual named Kvon R. Smith stated on his Facebook page he was going to come to the Capitol to do harm, but the threat was not made against anyone in particular. During the course of investigating the threat, Capitol Police brought in additional police resources from the Wisconsin State Patrol, DNR, DOJ Department of Criminal Investigation, and UW Madison police department. Smith's photo was circulated in order to identify him if he came close to the Capitol. The Capitol Police Department also contacted Milwaukee and Madison Police Departments for assistance.

Capitol Police and Wisconsin State Patrol officers were posted at all the Capitol entrances, and Capitol Police officers immediately identified Smith when he entered the Capitol. Smith was apprehended in the rotunda, and he stated that he had a Molotov cocktail in his backpack. The backpack was taken outside to Wisconsin Avenue, and the City of Madison Fire Department and the Dane County bomb squad have been called to further investigate the contents of the backpack. The Capitol police asked staff in offices facing Wisconsin Avenue to evacuate as a precaution as the contents of the backpack are identified. Smith is in custody and charges are pending.

Secretary Huebsch thanks the law enforcement officers and protective agencies involved for their professionalism in resolving this incident.

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