Arrest made over bombs left at Beaumont businesses

Arrest made over bombs left at Beaumont businesses

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas Joe Brown announced Friday, May 25, that 40-year-old Jonathan Torres has been arrested in connection to two verified explosive devices left at locations in Beaumont’s West End as well as taunting police with correspondence such as a postcard reading, "Would you like to play a game?"

Beaumont Police, FBI agents, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the bomb squad was at a residence in the 4000 block of El Paso Street in the city’s North End late Thursday, May 24, spending hours in search of what sources at the scene believed was a person of interest in connection to recent explosive devices left at a Dowlen Road Starbucks and St. Steven’s Episcopal Church/ All Saint’s school campus on Delaware Street. By lunch the following day, Torres was in police custody and his arrest announced.

Torres is expected to appear in court Tuesday, May 29, to answer the charges levied against him that include use of an explosive to damage property, mailing a threatening communication, and possession of an unregistered destructive device. 

“We do not believe at this time there is any continuing threat to the public,” Brown said, adding that investigators are still continuing to investigate the motive behind the attacks and any potential co-conspirators. At this time, however, officials believe Torres to have been acting alone.

"This was the largest investigation, as far as manpower, that this department has even been involved in," Beaumont Police Chief Jimmy Singletary said. Upwards of 40 police officers each day were commissioned to work on catching the actor responsible for the terroristic presentation of explosive devices throughout the city until Torres' apprehension, Singletary said. Now, the person of interest behing bars, he added, "The city of Beaumont can sleep better tonight."