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Suspects in Colorado chlorine bomb attack sentenced
By Ramon Tomey // Sep 01, 2020

Four individuals who attacked a law enforcement officer in Arvada, Colorado using homemade chlorine bombs in 2019, have been sentenced Aug. 27, according to a report by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.


The four suspects, all in their early 20s as of this time, conducted the attack on the early morning of April 6, 2019. They dragged traffic signs to the middle of a street in Arvada, prompting a police officer and a citizen who discovered the roadblock to clear the road hazard.

One of the suspects yelled obscenities at the officer before throwing a plastic bottle that released the chlorine gas. The police officer lost consciousness minutes later and was sent to a hospital to be treated for chlorine gas exposure, while the citizen received medical care for minor injuries. Authorities immediately searched the area for any more explosives after the attack and found three more chemical bombs. Fire department personnel who helped out in the search determined that at least one of the three chemical bombs contained brake fluid and powdered chlorine, which reacted with each other to form the gas.

A follow-up search by detectives yielded a Walmart receipt for brake fluid, pool cleaner and other paraphernalia. The suspects were then identified and arrested a day after the attack after security footage from the nearby Walmart captured the suspects purchasing the items. It was later found that the bottle thrown at the officer contained the same brake fluid and pool cleaner purchased by the suspects.

District Attorney Pete Weir recounted the attack: “These young men purchased the chemicals and plastic bottles at Walmart, mixed the bombs and then set up their targets for ambush. These men set up an ambush for police. When the first Arvada officer arrived to clear away the road hazard, he was a fixed target for their toxic chemical bombs.” The DA also added that the attack's impact on the law enforcement community has been enormous.

Four adult suspects pleaded guilty to explosives-related charges

Police arrested five initial suspects – four 19-year-olds and a minor – a day after the chemical bomb attack, slapping charges on the adult perpetrators.

Gavin Dawson, one of the suspects, said that his group had set smoke bombs off in “random places” – according to an arrest affidavit prepared by authorities. Another suspect, Maxwell McCann, stated in the affidavit that gas from the bombs they made was not very toxic or harmful based on what he read from the internet.

As a result of the attack, the officer suffered serious damage to his lungs – causing him to miss work and spend months going to medical appointments. He is still experiencing the effects of being exposed to chlorine gas as of this time.

Dawson, McCann and Braiden Ulmer pleaded guilty on May 18 to attempted second-degree assault of a peace officer using a toxic caustic device, a Category Five felony. The three were sentenced to two years’ probation, with time to be spent under an alternative sentencing program, which includes jail work release and in-home detention.

Another suspect in the attack, Isaac Koch, pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to possess an explosive/incendiary device, also a Category Five felony. Koch received a two-year deferred judgment and sentence.

Similar attacks using bombs made from readily available chemicals have been documented. In 2016, five teenagers in Pendleton, Indiana, were questioned by authorities after they were caught on surveillance camera setting up “Drano bombs” outside two houses. No injuries were reported during the Pendleton incident. A 12-year-old girl in New York fell victim to a “Drano bomb” thrown at a Harlem playground in 2017, burning her skin.

More news about attacks on law enforcement officers can be found at PoliceViolence.news.

Sources include:




DenverPost.com 1

DenverPost.com 2



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