Springboro porta-potty explosion case delayed

The explosion that rocked a Springboro home in November was carried out by teens who had watched gag videos of “blowing up porta-johns,” according to a police report.

And precautions taken to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in the community have delayed the closing of the case against one of the boys, court officials said last week.

On Nov. 30, Springboro residents called police about the explosion, which demolished the portable toilet at local job site and frightened at least one neighbor couple living off Factory Road.

“It was close and shook the house,” a neighbor said in a witness statement in the report provided in response to a records request.

Another neighbor told police he spotted the teens’ car as it turned around after driving down a dead-end street in attempting to escape and was able to get the license plate number before it sped off.

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“The portable bathroom was destroyed. Parts were scattered in the roadway and in the muddy field,” Detective Terry Dunkel said in his report.

The boys abandoned their car in a friend’s driveway and walked to one of their homes, where they were taken into custody.

“Over the Fourth of July holiday, they watched videos about blowing up porta-johns,” one boy acknowledged during questioning by detectives, according to the report.

After purchasing the explosive, the teens told detectives they went looking for a porta-john. One boy said he prepared a Snapchat of the explosion but deleted it before sendng it out.

On Dec. 10, James A. Clevenger, 18, of Franklin, was fined $250, placed on probation and ordered to make restitution to the owners of the portable toilet. Restitution was set at $515.

RELATED: Teen sentenced for explosion that destroyed Springboro porta-potty

The sentence came after felony charges of arson and vandalism were dismissed and Clevenger was found guilty of criminal damaging. He spent two days in the county jail, before being released on a signature bond.

Prosecutors also agreed to drop the more serious arson charges originally filed against the two juvenile boys involved, both 17-year-old Franklin residents. While their cases were pending, they each spent two days in juvenile detention.

Like Clevenger, the boys were found guilty of criminal damaging. They were ordered to do 30 hours of community service and pay $280 in restitution.

One boy’s case was closed after he demonstrated compliance with the sentence on March 10.

The case against the other boy is still pending as a precaution “due to COVID-19 concerns”, Tony Brigano, administrator of the Warren County Juvenile Court, said in an email.

RELATED: Original report

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