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Newaygo man faces federal charges

By Judy Reed

David Saylor

A Newaygo man who was arrested in early March after his 16-year-old son took some explosive materials to school and accidentally detonated them, is now facing federal charges.

David Robert Daniel Saylor, age 34, was arrested and arraigned on a 2-count criminal complaint as a result of the investigation into the explosion at Newaygo County High School on Monday, March 8, and subsequent search warrant of his home in the 2300 block of E. 95th, where they found more explosive materials. At the time, Newaygo County Prosecutor Worth Stay charged Saylor with one count of Explosives – Manufacture/Possession of Molotov Cocktail and one count of contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. He is also charged as a Habitual Offender – 2nd Offense Notice.

This week, Saylor was indicted and charged with multiple federal offenses, including possession of destructive devices and possession of a stolen firearm.

The indictment alleges that on or about March 8, 2021, Saylor possessed in Newaygo County two different improvised explosive devices. One device is described colloquially as a “pipe bomb.” The other is described as “an improvised explosive consisting of a brass fitting wrapped in tape that contained an explosive material.” Neither device was registered to Saylor, as required by federal law. The indictment includes a forfeiture allegation that explains the explosive devices were seized on March 8 and that Saylor must permanently forfeit them to the federal government if he is convicted. Saylor is also charged with possessing on that same date a firearm, specifically a Berretta .22 caliber rifle, knowing that it had been stolen from its lawful owner. Each of the three charges is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

According to the Michigan State Police, the Newaygo Police Department was dispatched to Newaygo High School for the explosion inside a classroom on Monday, March 8, at 8:52 a.m. 

Preliminary investigation by Newaygo Police and the MSP Hart Post determined that the 16-year-old student accidently detonated the explosive material and did not understand how big an explosion the materials could cause. They do not feel he intended to attack anyone. 

The boy and several others were injured in the blast and all sought treatment.

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