Man Charged with Possessing Explosive Devices Says It was an Air Pump
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The man accused of having an explosive device in his car says the incident was all a misunderstanding.
Robert Jamal Pryor appeared in Charlottesville General District Court Tuesday, September 10. The 34-year-old claims the device police found in the trunk of his car was just an air pump.
"They blasted my name all over social media, the news, everywhere. Make me look like a bomber. It was an air pump, you know? All I did was buy a car that the dealer left the air pump in, and I got the dealer saying the same thing," Pryor said.
According to the Charlottesville Police Department (CPD), Pryor was pulled over on Sycamore Street around 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 9, for expired plates and tags. The officer said she smelled marijuana, and came across a “suspicious device” during a search of Pryor’s car.
CPD called in the Virginia State Police and its bomb squad to assist in the investigation after K-9 Officer Brewster indicated the device could be explosive.
Pryor tells NBC29 that he had fireworks in his car, and believes that is what caused Brewster to indicate possible explosive materials.
The device was safely detonated by the bomb squad.
Police charged Pryor with possession of an explosive device, possession of marijuana, expired registration, and failure to have a vehicle properly inspected. He was released Monday night on an own-recognizance bond, and has also taken back possession of the car.
The Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney's Office and Pryor's public defender could not immediately be reached for comment.
Pryor is scheduled to be back in Charlottesville General District Court on October 7.