Led by Adairsville Police Department Lt. Matt Fowler, the media gathering stemmed from the arrest of Bryan Davis King, 47, of Adairsville Tuesday night for an “explosive device” found in a traffic stop following a domestic dispute.
“This agency is in the process of concluding its portion of the investigation into the incident. However, there are elements related to this incident that are still under investigation by other law enforcement officials,” Fowler said.
Bartow County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the Trimble Hollow Road residence just before 7 p.m. after King allegedly beat, choked, kicked and threatened to kill his girlfriend. Two hours later, King was stopped on Highway 140 at International Parkway by APD officers.
“When they arrested him, it was told to them by the deputies that the domestic violence situation he was initially wanted for that he had beat about the victim with a large metal pipe,” Fowler said. “So, when the officers took him into custody, they saw a large metal pipe in the car. The officer initially believed that was probably the weapon used offensively against the victim. When he more closely inspected it, he noticed it had a fuse and an end-cap on it. The officer is a combat veteran and thought it was an improvised explosive device.”
He could not answer why officers were not aware the pipe had been located by the responding deputy, whose report listed a time of 7:09 p.m. Tuesday.
“The only thing that I was aware of was that a pipe was used, and without having extensively spoke to our officers about it, it was the supposition that, when he saw that, he may have believed it was the pipe,” Fowler said.
When asked to describe the device, Fowler said, “I’m not an expert in explosives by any means. I will say the experts on scene with the Northwest Georgia Bomb Squad ... stated that device, while not a pipe bomb, was a destructive device that would have caused serious bodily injury and probably death to anyone in proximity should it have been detonated.”
The 18-inch-long-by-2.5-inch-wide metal pipe was capped, soldered with a fuse on one end with the other end left open. According to Fowler, the device was extricated by bomb technicians, buried 3 feet underground and detonated.
Fowler declined to say what type explosives were inside the pipe or where King may have gotten the device, saying both matters were under investigation.
Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated Title 16-4-10, which addresses domestic terrorism, “As used in this Code section, ‘domestic terrorism’ means any violation of, or attempt to violate, the laws of this state or of the United States which:
“(1) Is intended or reasonably likely to injure or kill not less than ten individuals as part of a single unlawful act or a series of unlawful acts which are interrelated by distinguishing characteristics; and
“(2)(A) Is intended to intimidate the civilian population of this state, any of its political subdivisions, or of the United States ... .”
The code goes on, but Fowler quoted the beginning of the law during Thursday’s meeting.
He said evidence led a superior court judge to issue arrest warrants for domestic terrorism, reckless conduct, possession of explosive device and transporting an explosive device.
Lead investigator APD Lt. Mike Fitz said Thursday he would pursue the charges at the state level.
“I took the domestic terrorism charge based off the probable cause I had,” he said.
When asked repeatedly Thursday if King, family or friends had indicated a plan, comments or concerns the man may have planned to carry out a terroristic act, Fowler declined to answer, saying the matters were “not open for public discussion.”
“Federal authorities interviewed Mr. King at the Bartow County Jail. The details surrounding that interview are not able to be disclosed at this time due to the ongoing investigation.”
As for a search of the property, Fowler said he was not aware of any search and the property involved was outside the city’s jurisdiction.
When asked if the property would be searched and when, Fowler said, “I’m not at liberty to discuss that part right now because it is part of another agency’s ongoing investigation.
“There’s several different agencies that have taken an interest in this, among those would be the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives], the county sheriff’s office has taken an interest in it as the initial investigation sparked from their incident, as well as the [Georgia Bureau of Investigation].”
Fowler said with the city wrapping up its investigation, where the case goes will be up to the U.S. Attorney.
“[If the case becomes a federal matter] would be up to the U.S. Attorney as to where they decide to file any charges in addition to ours or they take over the case,” he said. “The part that occurred here is being handled as a state-level case. Now, the other elements surrounding this case is what the federal government and GBI are looking into.”
However, Fitz and Police Chief Robert Jones said no other agencies were looking into the matter.
“They’ve not [expressed any interest] to me,” Fitz said in a phone interview.
Jones, who was not present at the press conference, said via message, “I don’t know that the BCSO is investigating this. The FBI [deferred] to the ATF for investigation. The GBI has never been involved.”
County officials also declined to pick up the case.
“The Bartow County Sheriff’s Office is not conducting any further investigation into the arrest of Bryan King,” Sheriff Clark Millsap said.
With Adairsville planning no more arrests, it appears no others will be charged in the case.