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Felony charge dismissed against Detroit Lakes high school student accused of setting of 'Drano bomb'

DETROIT LAKES -- Charges have been dismissed against a Detroit Lakes High School student accused of setting off a "Drano bomb" in a garbage can at school.

Aaron Quinn Bachmann, 17, of 21255 Brookridge Drive, Detroit Lakes was charged with setting off an explosive or incendiary device, a felony.

He was allegedly a "co-conspirator" with another teen -- Christian Allen Breitzman, 18, of 30376 240th St., Detroit Lakes, who also faces a felony charge in Becker County District Court.

According to court records:

In the late afternoon of Feb. 25, two so-called "Drano bombs" were set off in garbage cans at Detroit Lakes High School -- one in an upper hallway and one in a lower hallway. The devices made loud noises and at least one sent up a cloud of vapor.

The devices are easily made by mixing Drano crystals with a few other simple ingredients in a plastic bottle, which causes the bottle to explode a short while later.

School surveillance video showed the boys in the upper and lower hallways five minutes prior to the explosions.

Both stepped out of the video frame, they met together briefly, and five minutes later the explosives went off.

Both allegedly admitted setting off the devices, using material that Breitzman brought from home.

But Bachmann's attorney, Nancy Bowman, successfully petitioned the court to suppress statements made to police and any evidence obtained because of those statements, arguing that they were "obtained in violation of the child's constitutional right against self-incrimination and his right to due process."

That allegedly occurred because police officer Beau Shroyer and investigator Chad Jutz interviewed Bachmann without his parents present.

"The case is disturbing to the court because of the investigation," wrote District Judge Peter Irvine. "Apparently a statement was taken from the defendant without a parent present, which is unacceptable in a situation like this."

Because the court was left with weak or unusable evidence, Irvine added, he granted Bowman's motion to dismiss the charge against Bachmann for lack of probable cause.

A plea hearing is set for Sept. 3 for Breitzman.