Suspect got the dry ice for LAX bombs from an aircraft, officials say

<i>This post has been updated with new developments.</i>

Authorities believe the 28-year-old ground service worker suspected of staging a string of dry ice bombs at Los Angeles International Airport got the cooling agent from an aircraft.

Dicarlo Bennett, who worked for LAX ground service provider Servisair, was arrested in Paramount on Tuesday on suspicion of possessing and exploding a “destructive device near an aircraft,” the Los Angeles Police Department said. He was being held Wednesday on $1-million bail.

The proximity of the dry ice bombs to the aircraft will likely ratchet up the charges Bennett could face, said Los Angeles police Deputy Chief Michael Downing.

He went on to add that there is “no terrorism here.”

“He was a prankster,” Downing said. “He thought it was funny.” Although, he added, “there is nothing funny about what he did.”

Sources said information from other airport workers was among the evidence that led investigators to Bennett.


Authorities said three dry ice bombs were found Sunday and Monday in areas off-limits to the public, leading LAPD investigators and other officials to concentrate on airport workers -- particularly those with access to the tarmac.

The first device -- a 20-ounce plastic bottle filled with dry ice -- was discovered about 7 p.m. Sunday after it exploded in an employee-only restroom at Terminal 2, authorities said. No injuries were reported, but operations in the terminal were suspended and some flights delayed as the LAPD bomb squad cleared the scene. The others were found on Monday night.

Again, no injuries were reported.

Bennett “was an employee of Servisair at the time of the incident,” the company confirmed Wednesday. A Facebook account registered in Bennett’s name said he was a former ramp supervisor for the company. In a statement, Servisair declined to comment further but said the company was “cooperating with authorities and will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

Downing said there was no video footage of Bennett, but said there was “plenty” of evidence linking Bennett to the dry ice bombs.

In a statement, Servisair declined to comment further, but said the company was “cooperating with authorities and will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

In a statement, LAX Police Chief Patrick Gannon thanked the law enforcement agencies involved.

“Once again we want to reassure the traveling public, visitors and employees that LAX is safe and secure,” Gannon said.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the devices were “more of a noise device than a device that causes damage,” but said Tuesday officials were still concerned. He said police would push to have anyone arrested “vigorously” prosecuted.

“Whether you think this is a harmless prank or a way to disrupt operations at the airport, it won’t matter,” Beck said. “You will go to jail.”


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