4 Teens Allegedly Threw Homemade Explosives at Apple Valley, Lakeville Homes

One adult and three minors are charged in Dakota County related to incidents that happened in March.

Four teenagers face criminal charges after police say they apparently detonated homemade explosives in the yards of at least four homes in Lakeville and Apple Valley.

Eric Daniel Johnson, 18, of Lakeville, is charged in Dakota County with an explosives violation, a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Two 17-year-olds one 16-year-old who also allegedly were involved face similar charges, according to the Pioneer Press.

According to the criminal complaint against Johnson:

Lakeville police were called to Grinnell Avenue and Grove Trail in Lakeville around 10 p.m. March 23 on a report of an explosion.

The officer who responded found a melted plastic bottle that contained tin foil and a liquid chemical in the yard of a home in the 16000 block of Grinnell, but found no suspects at the scene. Officers then learned a second device apparently had been detonated in the 16000 block of Griffon Lane.

were called to the 1000 block of Whitney Drive at about 10:30 that same night on a report that two devices had been detonated in the caller's yard. An officer found two bottles with tin foil there, as well.

The Apple Valley homeowners' son allegedly told police that Johnson drove a Ford Explorer like the one the family had seen driving away with its lights off, and that he had heard Johnson talking about making explosives, the complaint says.

Officers went to Johnson's home, where Johnson and two other boys arrived in a Ford Explorer. Another boy came in a separate vehicle, the complaint says. Officers spoke with all four.

Johnson allegedly told police he had bought bathroom cleaner to use to make explosive devices, the complaint says, and that each boy had bought a piece needed to make the devices.

He said he'd driven them around that night and had thrown a device at a house, according to the complaint; he gave police the remaining materials—six bottles of tonic water and two rolls of tin foil.

One of the other boys told police he'd bought 12 bottles of tonic water for the explosives and threw more than five explosives at three houses that apparently were homes of people he knew, the complaint says. He allegedly said they had tested one device away from any homes first.

Another boy said he'd bought the tin foil, and the fourth boy said he'd bought fruit punch to help make the explosives, according to the complaint. Each reported having gone together to three or four houses.

The fourth boy said they had been "just goofing around," the complaint says.

One of the 17-year-olds has pleaded guilty, and his case will be dismissed if he does 30 hours of community service and writes apology letters to the victims, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom told the Pioneer Press.

Johnson is scheduled to appear in Dakota County Court on July 30, while the other boys are scheduled for July 31 court dates, according to the Pioneer Press.


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