(Beaver Dam) Cash bond was set at $50,000 Monday for a Beaver Dam man charged with possessing a hazardous device. Chad Leitner is facing a felony count of Possession of an Improvised Explosive as well as two felony counts of Bail Jumping.
Beaver Dam police officers were dispatched to Riverview Drive around 2:45pm Saturday to investigate a suspicious vehicle complaint. The vehicle had driven through the area for roughly 20 minutes, stopped a few times and eventually parked in a driveway on Kelly Circle.
According to the criminal complaint, Leitner was identified as the vehicle’s owner. When he was being questioned, authorities noticed a backpack which Leitner reportedly allowed them to search. Inside they allegedly found a (quote) “silver pipe like object with a green fuse protruding from the center” and “two end caps on it.”
The officer then drew his handgun, pointing it at Leitner who was taken into custody. The Dane County Bomb Squad was called to the scene and rendered the pipe bomb safe. The device itself was filled with two-inch finishing nails along with flash powder mixed with aluminum shavings. The Dane County’s bomb technician said the kill radius of such a device would be roughly 15 meters.
Leitner denied making the pipe bomb and allegedly told investigators that he got it from a neighbor in Fond du Lac who used them to blow up tree stumps. The 42-year-old reportedly said since he was a felon and could not own a firearm, a bomb was the next option for personal defense. If convicted, Leitner faces up to 18 years in prison. A judge will decide next week if there is enough evidence to order a trial.