Police uncover pipe bomb in home

LEAVENWORTH — Bomb experts disposed of a pipe bomb found inside the home of a Leavenworth couple who were involved in a domestic dispute Tuesday.

“It was an active pipe bomb and would have created a very big explosion,” said Mike Harris, chief of patrol for the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies found the bomb in the home office of Dart T. West, 55, after they arrested him on suspicion of being in possession of a prohibited explosive device, reckless endangerment and harassment and/or threats to kill. Harris said West threatened to kill his wife, and he fired a .44 magnum through a window of the home in the 11400 block of Highway 2, just east of the Leavenworth Safeway.

The incident began about 8:25 a.m. when West’s wife, whose name was not available, called the RiverCom dispatch center, saying that her husband was in his office, threatening to kill himself. As she was leaving to go to a phone in an unoccupied apartment and garage on the property, she heard the gunshot, Harris said. A few minutes later, she heard her husband knocking on the apartment door.

The man surrendered his weapon after four deputies and two Washington State Patrol troopers, with guns drawn, arrived at the scene, Harris said.

Harris described the bomb as a galvanized steel pipe, about 8 inches long, with caps at both ends and a fuse. It was full of gunpowder.

“I don’t think he was a terrorist or anything like that,” Harris said. “My guess is that he was going to go up in the hills and see what the thing would do.”

The ordnance experts from the U.S. Army training center near Yakima cleared the scene about 2 p.m., Harris said.

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