Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

July 6, 2007

Cult members arrested for trying to bomb church

Group described as radical Christian activists

Burleson police arrested two men Wednesday and one Thursday who cited religious beliefs in attempting to detonate a bomb at Victory Family Church in Burleson.

According to reports, the suspects — Dayton Lee Calaway, 19, of Burleson, Michael Philip Plaisted Jr., 18, of Burleson, Jered Michael Ragon, 18, of Burleson, and an underage boy — twice attempted to detonate the device before being interrupted by a deacon. Police discovered the device propped against the church door.

Police officers responding Wednesday to a call of suspicious activity at the church, which is under construction, found the deacon had detained Calaway and Plaisted. The deacon, whose name has not been released, said he caught the pair after they attempted to run but became stuck in mud. Ragon and the boy fled the scene in a vehicle.

While investigating the events at the church, police received a call about a fire in a field about two to three miles from the church. A resident saw a plume of smoke, heard screaming and saw a man run out of a wooded area and leave in a vehicle. According to reports, Ragon was attempting to destroy evidence on the manufacturing of the explosive device. Police said Ragon, who was wearing sandals, doused the evidence with gasoline but did not realize he was standing in a puddle of gasoline when he lit the fire. His feet were burned in the fire. A MedStar ambulance treated him at the Burleson Police Department the next day, but he refused transport to the hospital.

Although Burleson Police Cmdr. Chris Havens declined to elaborate on the bomb, he said it was a simple, homemade device, the plans for which could probably be easily found on the Internet. Had the device detonated it would have caused a substantial explosion and probably led to a fire in the church, he said.

Text Only
Local News
Front page
Latest CTR Videos
Facebook
Front page
Front page
Front page
Front page
Front page
Front page
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
House Ads
Featured Ads
CTR Sports
Follow us on twitter