A bomb-making suspect was behind bars Wednesday, and law enforcement authorities were seeking permission to burn a Cathedral City mobile home where an explosive device and bomb-making materials were found.
A woman from San Diego asked police to go to the home on Sunseeker Place at Sungate mobile home park about 1:45 a.m. Tuesday, saying her brother, 22- year-old Sean Stewart Clarke, was "acting delusional" at her father's home.
When officers met Clarke at the front door, they saw a powder on the floor, dismantled shotgun shells and buckshot, according to Cathedral City police.
"Clarke's appearance and behavior also led the officers to believe that he was under the influence of a controlled substance," according to a police statement.
Clarke had an explosive device, which he said he made with potassium nitrate and aluminum powder, "and was carrying it for protection," according to police.
During a sweep of the home, officers saw bomb-making materials and called the Riverside County Sheriff's Department's Bomb Unit, which evacuated nearby residents.
Technicians used a robot to retrieve a bomb from the porch; it was later destroyed.
Members of the bomb squad determined "there was no safe way to remove and secure the hazardous materials within the residence without risking the health and safety of the first responders" and decided to burn the place.
Police were seeking an OK from the Riverside County Environmental Health department. Planning and approval can take several days, police said.
Police Capt. Chuck Robinson said police were guarding the home, and neighboring residents remained evacuated.
"Right now we're in a holding pattern," he said. "But we're trying to move as quickly as we can."
Clarke was booked into the county jail in Indio in lieu of $250,000 bail and is expected in court on Thursday, according to jail records.
– City News Service.