Adams State Police arrest suspect, safely detonate explosive

(10-28-2013)

Adams State University police arrested a man at 6:30 p.m. Saturday following the safe detonation of an explosive device discovered that afternoon in a university parking lot. Kenan Bussen, age 21of Clovis, New Mex., was charged with three felonies, including possession of explosives and menacing, as well as misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment, according to Dr. Joel Shults, chief of Adams State Police. Bussen is an Adams State student who resides on campus.

Shults said the device was detonated at the scene in a safe manner after consultation with an explosives expert in the Pueblo Police Department. Adams State Police also coordinated with the Colorado State Patrol, Alamosa Police Department, Alamosa Fire Department, and the San Luis Valley Hazardous Materials Team. They established a safe zone and evacuated the area; there was no damage from the device.

ASU Police officer David Pino was on foot patrol at approximately 4:17 p.m. when he was alerted by a citizen to a suspicious device in the parking lot outside Rex Stadium. Pino recognized the device as a possible chemical explosive and begin implementing procedures to protect the area. The last spectators were leaving the Oct. 26 Adams State football game, and several visitors whose cars were in the parking lot were delayed until the device was rendered safe and evidence was secured.

Shults said eight law enforcement units and three fire service units were on the scene for over two hours, including the additional police staff already present for the football game. Emergency workers searched the area for any additional devices or evidence before releasing the scene back to public use.

Shults said, "It was a well-coordinated and successful effort, showcasing the effectiveness of our officers and our partners, who unfailingly give us their best efforts and cooperation whenever we call."

Shults said the device contained unknown liquids and solids in a transparent container. "We'll send the deactivated device to CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigation) to determine the chemical content." He explained the danger from such a device includes flying debris under pressure and unknown chemicals that can be caustic or toxic.

By Julie Waechter