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Maryland man arrested in 'bottle bomb' attack at movie theater

By John M. Clarke

Annapolis Maryland (Reuters) - A Maryland man suspected in a spate of "bottle bomb" incidents at movie theaters in the Washington, D.C., area has been arrested and charged with tossing an improvised explosive device into a cinema last month, officials said on Sunday.

Manuel Joyner, 20, has been charged with manufacturing, possessing and detonating a destructive device in a Largo, Maryland, movie theater on May 24, Prince George's County Fire officials said in a statement. The theater was cleared after the incident and there were no injuries.

"Movie theater patrons around the region can breathe a sigh of relief as a suspect has been identified and arrested for using 'bottle-bombs,'" said a statement from Prince George's County Fire/EMS.

Joyner is considered a suspect in multiple incidents at AMC theaters across the region in recent weeks, the statement said.

No one was seriously injured in any of the explosions. In one incident two weeks ago, two homemade bottle bombs exploded in a movie theater in McLean, Virginia, sending more than 2,000 frightened audience members scrambling for the exits.

Federal bomb experts were helping investigate the incidents, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said last week. The devices are usually made with the explosive mixture of baking soda and vinegar in a bottle, the spokesman said.

Joyner was arrested without incident at his home in the Washington suburb of Bowie, Maryland, late on Saturday.

The felony charges carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison if he is found guilty.

A spokesman for AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, which had offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, issued a statement thanking local and federal law enforcement.

(Editing by Edith Honan and Mohammad Zargham)

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