UNION – A patient at a Union County hospital faces a charge of possessing explosives after hospital security found a device in his bag and police later found pipe bombs at his home.
Sheriff David Taylor said nurses at Wallace Thomson Hospital called security Friday about a patient whom they feared was going to become combative because they were going to confront him about their belief that he was self-medicating. A hospital security officer called deputies after finding an explosive in the man’s bag.
Deputies say the glass bottle had sealant on top and gun powder inside. An object that looked like a firework fuse had been removed, according to an incident report. Deputies then found and removed seven pipe bombs from a dresser drawer in a bedroom in the man’s home, authorities said.
The patient, 51-year-old Jeffrey Glenn Rash, is under guard at the hospital, charged with possession of explosives/incendiary devices. Officials said they didn’t know why Rash, who had been at the hospital since Wednesday, had the explosive device with him.
“He’s not very cooperative,” Taylor said. “The only thing he did tell us is he had other bombs at home. That’s basically the only thing he’s told us.”
The explosive device at the hospital could have caused a massive explosion because Rath was on oxygen, said Tim Merritt, CEO of the Union Hospital District, which includes Wallace Thomson. “”He could have (taken) out part of that wing of the hospital.”
About 50 patients were in the hospital when the device was found, Merritt said, including about 16 in the same wing as Rash. About 20 staff members were there, he said. Bomb-sniffing dogs searched the hospital Friday as a precaution, Merritt said. The hospital was not evacuated.
Rash’s wife, Deborah, said Saturday that her husband does not have an attorney yet and that he is still at the hospital. She declined further comment.