Philadelphia pipe bomb suspect arrested in Northampton County

Posted: 11:50 AM EST Dec 24, 2013   Updated: 7:04 PM EDT Oct 18, 2013

It was a frightening day in one Philadelphia neighborhood Thursday. More than a dozen homes were evacuated after police were called to an Oxford Circle home when the woman inside found what she believed to be a homemade pipe bomb in her basement.

Bomb experts, ATF agents and the FBI were called in. Authorities say they eventually found six cylinders, each about a foot long and sealed at the ends. One pipe bomb with a fuse exploded as the bomb squad tried to diffuse it, sending debris into the air.

According to court documents, the devices belong to 36-year-old Michael Beer. He recently moved to Northampton County, but left a few boxes at his mother's house. Beer's mom found the bombs while going through his belongings.

We stopped by Beer's Roseto apartment Friday, but no one answered the door.

Folks living nearby on Garibaldi Avenue tell us around 10PM Thursday their quiet street was swarmed by police cars, and they had no idea why.

ATF Agents and State Police Troopers combed Beer's apartment and say no explosives were found inside. With neighbors watching, Beer was handcuffed and taken away.

Court paperwork says during a monitored phone call to Beer, he admitted to a confidential informant that the homemade bombs were his saying "I don't know what the big deal is." He went on to say "you threw me under the bus."

The incident is still under investigation, but authorities say it does not appear to be related to terrorism. Beer is charged with possession of a destructive device. He's being held in a federal detention facility in Philly. If convicted, Beer could face up to 10 years behind bars.