Arrest made in mysterious explosion that injured gardener - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Arrest made in mysterious explosion that injured gardener in Escondido

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ESCONDIDO (CNS/News 8 ) - Authorities have arrested 54-year-old George Jakubec in connection with a mysterious explosion that took place Thursday afternoon on the property he rents in the Escondido area.

"He is being charged with possession and manufacture of explosive devices and unlawful possession of explosives," said Jan Caldwell, spokesperson for the Sheriff's Department.

In the meantime, members of the Sheriff Department's Bomb-Arson squad, as well as the Escondido Police Department and FBI, will work through Thursday night, well into Friday morning, gathering and defusing explosive materials they recovered on the property Jakubec rents.

A gardener was injured when he inadvertently triggered an explosion behind Jakubec's North County home Thursday, authorities reported.

Investigators on the scene through Friday morning were trying to determine what the man stepped on, resulting in the blast in the 1900 block of Via Scott in unincorporated Escondido shortly before 1 p.m., according to sheriff's officials.

Medics took the unidentified man to Palomar Medical Center, according to Lt. Jim Duffy, who said the victim's injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Neighborhood resident Lauranell Latulippe told reporters the explosion sounded like an overloaded electrical transformer blowing up.

Sheriff's bomb-arson personnel went to the home to determine what caused the detonation and whether any additional threats remained, a dispatcher said. The FBI also was called in to investigate.

Deputies cleared people out of a few neighboring homes while the explosives team used a remote-controlled robot to examine the site of the blast and the surrounding property. Residents in two homes remained evacuated through Thursday night.

The investigation will last well into Friday, sheriff's officials said.

Interstate 15 between Center City Parkway and El Norte Parkway will be shut down to all lanes of traffic in both directions, some time between 9am and 12pm Friday, as investigators work to render safe the explosive materials they've recovered.

There is a potential concern, according to Caldwell, "that when we render these materials, that there could be some debris that floats up and out, and we don't want to cause any sort of vehicular problems that way."

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