Man with pipe bomb claims it was for protection

A 50-year-old man who was arrested Saturday after turning in a pipe bomb to Glendale police allegedly told officers that two men were trying to kill him, so he built the device for protection.

Saro Akhverdyan is expected to appear in the Los Angeles County Superior Court this week in connection with possessing the destructive device, which was safely detonated late Saturday outside police headquarters. No one was injured during the incident.

Akhverdyan made the device after he suspected two men, on separate occasions, tried to track him down and kill him, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

Akhverdyan, a Glendale resident, was “paranoid,” Lorenz said, because he was certain the men were after him, although he was unable to articulate who they were.

Akhverdyan allegedly told police he built the 6-inch-long and 3-inch-wide pipe bomb, which contained bullets, pellets and gun powder, for protection.

At about 9 p.m. Saturday, Akhverdyan’s nephew and brother drove him to police headquarters on the 100 block of North Isabel Street to seek advice and assistance with the bomb, Lorenz said.

Once Akhverdyan told police he had stored the bomb in the trunk of the family’s 2011 Toyota Camry, officers arrested him and called the Los Angeles County sheriff’s bomb squad, which used a robot to carry out the detonation.

The bomb had the potential of killing or maiming anyone within 150 feet, Lorenz said, adding that it was built to kill or seriously injure someone.

“There is no other purpose for it,” Lorenz said.

Akhverdyan cooperated with police during their investigation, Lorenz added.

Family members reportedly told police that they noticed Akhverdyan had been acting odd and had become extremely paranoid in the recent months. They had also taken him to an area hospital for help, Lorenz said.

Akhverdyan remains in police custody in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Lorenz urged residents who find an explosive device to leave it alone, to immediately call police for help, and not to transport it to the police department.

“It’s the last place we want to see it at,” he said.


-- Veronica Rocha, Times Community News

Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA

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