BLUEFIELD — A Bluefield man is facing charges after officers responded to his home on a destruction of property complaint and found propane tanks at the residence rigged to explode.
John Conley Funari, 39, of Rockbridge Street, will be charged with possession of an incendiary device and destruction of property in connection with incidents that occurred last week in Bluefield, Detective-Sgt. K.L. Adams, with the Bluefield Police Department, said.
The first incident occurred Tuesday, May 28, when officers responded to a report of the front door of the Bluefield Community Center being destroyed by a man with a dumbbell, according to a criminal complaint filed by Adams. The suspect was observed on video breaking out the glass door, and leaving the 40-pound dumbbell at the scene.
The suspect was acting in an “erratic fashion,” Adams stated, noting he “looked directly at the security cameras flipping them off, and pointed to his watch repeatedly.”
The video was posted on social media.
Adams received a tip the following day that the suspect was Funari, who lived on Rockbridge Street near the community center.
Adams was also advised Funari suffered from “numerous mental disorders,” according to the complaint.
Responding to Funari’s residence, Adams said officers found the front door ajar and entered to do a “safety sweep” and locate the suspect. He was not at the house.
“However, officers located two propane tanks in the living room area of the home that had been rigged to explode when exposed to flame,” Adam stated in the complaint. “Written on one of the tanks was ‘pray for Rockbridge Street 7-10 split.’ “
Adams said he contacted a family member of Funari who spoke of the his mental state, and advised he feared for the suspect’s safety and “others around him.” A mental hygiene pickup order was then obtained.
Officers returned to Funari’s residence and found the front door barricaded from the inside, Adams said. Acting on a search warrant officers made entry into the home and located Funari.
“Funari advised he had broken the window out of the community center because he wished to work out, but they were closed,” Adams stated in the court document. “Funari advised he would pay for the damage of the window.”
Adams said he then questioned the suspect about the propane tanks he had rigged to explode. “Funari then voluntarily admitted he was going to use the tanks to commit suicide,” the complaint stated.
During a search of the residence, Adams said officers located a bulletproof vest, a set of dumbbells missing a 40-pound dumbbell, clothing worn by the suspect during the vandalism and a compound bow. The propane tanks were seized.
Following a mental hygiene hearing, Funari was sent to a mental health facility for treatment, Adams said in the complaint.
Charges will be filed at a later date.
— Contact Samantha Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org