3rd Sidewalk Explosives’ Suspect Sought

Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles police said Wednesday that officers are looking for a third suspect--and any victims they can find with burned shoes or feet--in connection with the discovery of an explosive chemical compound on Reseda sidewalks.

Police refused to reveal most details of the investigation, but said there are no signs the substance came from a politically motivated bomb-making workshop.

‘Not a Terrorist Organization’

“This is not an organized terrorist organization or anything like that,” Detective Ronald E. Douglass said Wednesday, commenting on two arrests following discovery of the substance Tuesday.


Darryl James Haynes, 28, and Stefani Coffman, 20, were arrested on suspicion of possessing a destructive device after police found what officers described as a cache of highly unstable chemicals at the Reseda apartment where they were arrested.

Douglass would not comment on the case further “because we’re still looking for an outstanding suspect,” he said.

A 130-foot-long streak of the reddish-brown substance, which flashed into flame or exploded upon impact, was discovered by a motorcycle officer who noticed a pedestrian’s footsteps striking sparks from the sidewalk in the 7900 block of Reseda Boulevard. The officer said he followed a trail of the substance to the apartment where Haynes and Coffman were arrested.

Other patches were found at several locations a quarter of a mile away.


Douglass said officers were told that the substance burned the soles of a woman and a man in separate incidents on the street earlier, but police have not located them. “We’re making an appeal for any victims of this stuff to come forward,” he said.

Awaiting Laboratory Analysis

Police spokesmen initially identified the substance as red phosphorus mixed with sulfur but on Wednesday, Douglass called that labeling premature and said he was waiting for a laboratory analysis.

Phosphorus is an easily ignited chemical sometimes used in flares, artillery shells or other incendiary or explosive devices.