UPDATE: Police and fire busy on holiday



Two 14-year old male juveniles have been charged with felony criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly detonating bottle rockets in Amsterdam Sunday. 

One suspect remains at large.

On top of the third-degree criminal possession charges, the unnamed pair were also charged with second-degree placing a false bomb or hazardous substance, an E felony; and second-degree reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor.

The suspects are expected to answer the charges in Montgomery County Family Court this afternoon.

Police responded to a report of “popping noises” and “youths hanging out” near an abandoned home at 255 Division Street, according to an updated Amsterdam Police Department news release.

No injuries were sustained by any first responders or the neighborhood residents.

APD said the juveniles set off a series of bottle rockets Sunday evening. Before officers could determine the source of the explosions, they cordoned the neighborhood for several hours.

The department received a second call a short time later advising officers there were several bottles placed around the home and that some had exploded.

Amsterdam Police and Fire personnel secured the area and, during the investigation, found 12 homemade bottle bombs — seven had exploded and five were still active.

Officers also discovered six similar devices behind an old factory on Yeoman Street.

Authorities said they requested the assistance of the state police’s bomb squad who neutralized the remaining active devices.

The news release says investigating officers conducted numerous interviews and canvassed the neighborhood for suspects. They were able to locate the two arrested juveniles who were involved in the “manufacture and placing” of the devices, but a third suspect has not been located. 

Detectives are attempting to locate that person for questioning.

Upon the arrival of the bomb squad, the devices were rendered safe and by 8:30 p.m., the area was cleared. Residents were then able to return to their homes.

The Amsterdam Fire Department — who assisted in at the bottle bomb scene along with state police, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Office of Emergency Management and GAVAC — also had a busy Easter Sunday.

The fire department responded to 14 calls, a high number compared to an average day, Chief Richard Liberti said. 

Of those calls were two structure fires and the two hazardous conditions involving the bottle bombs. There were no injuries at any of the incidents.

“Nope, we don’t always get to take holidays off,” Liberti said with a chuckle. Both structure fires required the assistance of two extra shifts.

“Hopefully it’ll be quiet today,” he added.

Amsterdam fire responded to a structure fire at 92 VanDyke Ave., Sunday morning, Liberti said. There was some damage done to the building, he said.

Then in the afternoon, fire fighters responded to a call from Joe’s Market on 127 Market Street.

“It was under control in 20 minutes,” Liberti said.

Both fires are still under investigation and a cause is still to be determined.