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Hollister Police officer injured while investigating explosive device

Device made by 15-year-old led to chemical exposure of the officer, who was treated at the hospital

A Hollister Police officer was injured while investigating a chemical explosive device on Tuesday, Aug. 8. Officer Rudy Rodriguez responded to a call of what sounded like an M80 or other large explosive going off in the 1400 block of El Cerro Dive after neighborhs had reported a juvenile who lives nearby had exploded a device in the middle of the court. 

Shortly after arriving, Rodriguez located the 15-year-old juvenile who admitted to making a chemical bomb and exploding it in the court. The juvenile said he learned how to make them through a friend and social media online videos. He told Rodriguez where the remnants of the device were located. 

The exploded device had been placed in a garbage container of a neighboring home. As he was investigating, Rodriguez was overcome with chemical vapors emanating from the exploded device and began to experience symptoms of chemical exposure. His symptoms became worse and would not subside.  The Hollister Fire Department was called to contain the unknown substance and San Benito Environmental Health was called to make sure there was no further danger to neighbors. 

Rodriguez was transported to Hazel Hawkins Hospital for treatment and decontamination. He was treated and released the same day and was able to return to work two days later.

The Hollister Police Department would like to warn residents that all explosive devices are dangerous. There are many “recipes” available on various social media sites with commonly available cleaning ingredients that are easily accessible to juveniles. We ask parents to educate their children about the dangers of creating any explosive device.    

Creating an explosive device can lead to arrest with misdemeanor or felony charges. The juvenile was given a citation and released to his parents. No other persons were injured during this incident.

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