Washington County explosion suspect pleads not guilty to federal - KPTV - FOX 12

Washington County explosion suspect pleads not guilty to federal charges

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Jason Paul Schaefer, jail booking photo Jason Paul Schaefer, jail booking photo
WASHINGTON COUNTY, OR (KPTV) -

A man accused of setting off a bomb as detectives approached his SUV in Washington County – injuring himself and a deputy – pleaded not guilty to federal charges.

Jason Paul Schaefer, 26, was formally arraigned Friday on charges of assault on a federal officer and using an explosive to commit a federal felony.

Schaefer was arrested earlier this month after FBI agents and local law enforcement agencies served a warrant at his apartment in the area of Northwest 185th Avenue and Rock Creek Boulevard.

Investigators said he led authorities on a short chase that ended with a blast in his SUV.

Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett said Friday that Schaefer detonated the device as detectives got close to his driver’s side door.

The detectives are part of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police, respectively, and are also members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

An FBI spokesman said Friday the JTTF was involved in this case for their expertise and ability to render explosive materials and devices safe if necessary.

There were 13 agencies assisting the FBI in this investigation on the day of the explosion.

At a press conference Friday, investigators declined to release details about the suspect or his possible intentions for collecting explosive items.

An FBI spokesman said, however, that such items were found in Schaefer’s car, home and storage unit.  

Sgt. Steve Collins of the Portland Police Bureau Explosive Disposal Unit said Schaefer had an explosive device made from household ingredients that can be purchased in stores and online.

He described the combination of materials as being dangerous to make and handle.

“It could kill you,” Collins said.

Schaefer has two prior felony convictions. He was convicted of second-degree assault in New York in 2011 and felon in possession of body armor in Washington County earlier this year.

He was ordered to remain in jail and is scheduled to face trial on his latest charges Dec. 27.

A deputy injured in the explosion was treated and released at the hospital. Schaefer was in the hospital for a few days and was expected to lose several fingers and possibly his hand due to injuries from the explosion.

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