Pullman resident arrested after setting off explosive to celebrate new U.S. president

Pullman PD forwarded charge against defendant to the Whitman County Prosecutor’s Office after closing case Monday

TIMOTHY FAIRBANKS-CLOUSER, Evergreen reporter

A local resident is facing a class C felony charge for not having a license to use and possess explosives.

Albert Arnold, 29, is charged with not having a license to possess or use explosives. He could serve up to 5 years in state prison and potentially a $10,000 fine. Pullman Police Department closed the case Monday and forwarded the charge to the Whitman County Prosecutor’s Office, said Pullman PD Sergeant Chris Engle.

On the morning of Jan. 21, Arnold was arrested at his apartment after Pullman PD received reports of a loud explosion, he said.

Engle said officers were not initially aware of what happened because Pullman PD sometimes receives similar reports ranging from construction equipment to a gunshot. 

The person who initially reported the incident said they saw smoke behind Red Bento after hearing the explosion, Engle said.

Officers used the restaurant as their point of reference, he said. They were able to narrow their search to Arnold’s residence using information they received from reports. Officers found 15 explosives in the apartment, ranging in size between an M-80 and a road flare.

Arnold allegedly made the explosives and told officers he set off an explosive that morning to celebrate the presidential election results. The Presidential Inauguration took place the day before Arnold’s arrest, Engle said.

“We don’t think there is an ongoing threat to the community from this person,” he said.