ISP

CHALMERS — A White County man was charged Thursday with trying to blow up his neighbor’s vehicle after a reported dispute.

Darren Amick, 54, of the 200 block of South Indiana 43, Chalmers, is accused of placing a destructive device or explosive with knowledge or intent that it be used to kill, injure or intimidate an individual or to destroy property, a Level 2 felony.

Social media chatter emerged early Tuesday morning about a “loud explosion” in Chalmers.

According to court documents, Amick suspected Dustin Johnson, a Chalmers resident, had damaged his truck and he decided to return the favor. Amick alleges that Johnson slashed the tires on his truck

Amick also told police he became angered at Johnson during a dispute a day earlier, court documents stated.

In response, Amick told police he planted a homemade explosive device under Johnson’s vehicle and detonated it around 7:11 a.m. Tuesday, court documents state.

White County sheriff’s deputies first responded to the area after a shots fired call in the 100 block of Earl Street near Main Street in Chalmers. Deputies at first detained Johnson before learning that his Ford Edge SUV had an exploded bomb under it, court documents state.

Deputies then contacted Indiana State Police officials for help. Johnson’s home was cordoned off and police began searching for evidence of bullet strikes and shell casings around nearby homes and buildings.

ISP, according to court documents, discovered a second homemade bomb, similar to the denotated bomb under Johnson’s SUV. Police also obtained closed-circuit video surveillance purportedly showing Amick setting the bomb under Johnson’s vehicle and returning to his own home, court documents state.

ISP’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team deactivated the second homemade bomb.

The original shots fired call prompted Frontier School Corporation to lock down the high school and administrative office in Chalmers.

According to Superintendent Dan Sichting, two Frontier school buses that normally operate within Chalmers were diverted from the area to Frontier Elementary School in Brookston. A message was sent to all Frontier Junior/Senior High School students to shelter in place.

Students already arriving at the school and seated in their vehicles were ushered into the building for safety, he said.

The school and administrative office were taken off lockdown status at 7:55 a.m. when WCSD officials notified the school “that the shooting incident had been resolved.”

Amick was lodged Tuesday at the White County Jail on charges of controlled explosion, arson, intimidation with the weapon, possession of a destructive device and criminal mischief. So far, prosecutors have only filed charges for placing the bomb.

ISP officials said detectives are still investigating the original 911 call of shots fired.

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