A man is in custody and will soon be charged for two incidents involving dangerous devices, including one that was thrown in the office of a local politician.
Investigators say someone threw a burning device at the campaign office of Philadelphia Councilman Dwight Evans around 4:45 p.m. The office is located on the 7200 block of Limekiln Pike in the West Oak Lane section of the city. Officials describe the device as a "bottle with smoke coming out and some type of liquid inside."
"This green liquid, although it wasn't explosive, it's highly caustic," said Philadelphia Chief Inspector Scott Small. "Which means it could burn your eyes, could burn your skin and if it got in your eyes it could blind you."
Evans was in Harrisburg at the time of the incident. Two of his staff members were inside however though they weren't injured. They say they heard the plastic bottle smash against the wall outside. Police, ATF, the bomb squad and firefighters were all called to the scene.
"I hit the floor and I was under my desk," said one staff member, who did not want to be identified. "It was smoking outside of our office. That's serious and scary enough."
"I thought it was a firecracker until I saw the smoke," said the other staff member.
Evans returned to Philadelphia from Harrisburg and surveyed the scene of the crime.
"I grew up in this neighborhood," he said. "So it's a little disappointing that this happened."
Police also say a similar device was found two blocks away at the Simons Rec Center playground on Woolston Avenue and Walnut Lane. Investigators say the device is a bottle with green liquid. While the bomb squad determined that the device is not explosive, they do say that it is caustic and could cause burns. No one was injured in that incident.
A 21-year-old man is currently in police custody and is being processed. He is expected to be charged for both incidents. Police have not yet revealed his identity or his motive.
"I've been in my office for 33 years," said Evans. "To my knowledge, there has not been any incident or unhappy constituent. We respond to people."
Evans, 58, is a Democrat and member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 203rd District.