PHOTOS Florida man blows both arms off trying to make fireworks in his kitchen

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A 31-year-old Florida man will not be charged with a crime after his May 1st attempt at homemade fireworks destroyed his condo and left him without both arms.

Justin McHenry, a Florida man of Cape Coral, lost both arms to the elbows in an explosion that also destroyed his kitchen and damaged a wall in his condo. The explosion occurred when McHenry pressed down on a coffee grinder containing a number of different explosive ingredients.

McHenry’s legs and abdomen were also injured, due to the shrapnel that the blast generated. When police arrived at the scene, they found McHenry, dazed, sitting on the curb in front of his building, with smoke pouring from the apartment behind him.

McHenry was rushed to the hospital, where he stayed for an undisclosed length of time. (His current whereabouts are unknown.)


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Cape Coral police, though, filed an application for McHenry’s arrest with the State Attorney’s Office. They stated that they’d found ingredients in his condo “consistent with items that were used to build IEDs,” and that McHenry’s computer and browser history demonstrated his interest in creating both fireworks and flash powder.

The state, though, has declined to prosecute. Said State Attorney spokeswoman Samantha Syoren, “It didn’t rise to criminal intent. He had a coffee grinder and when he pushed the coffee grinder down, it blew his arms off.”

According to Syoren, the statute under which McHenry would have been prosecuted is intended to stop people from making bombs, but that McHenry’s intention was to make firecrackers.


(Photo credits: Cape Coral Police Department)

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