The old exploding bottle trick - I love it, and luckily no one was seriously injured. It works out to be a laughable prank in my book.
Instead, Atlanta police are treating it like a terrorist incident.
Theodore Hollot reportedly told police he made the bombs in his room.
About 100 students were evacuated from residence halls at Georgia Tech last Monday morning after a bottle exploded in a trash-collecting janitor's hands. The janitor suffered no serious injuries.
To me, the student did something at the wrong place at the wrong time, and his actions don't warrant the punishment he could get. In all likelihood, he'll just get probation. But why clog up the court system from what amounts to a prank, and a nerdy one at best.
It's not like he did something truly immature like setting off the sprinklers or running through halls and knocking off wall decorations.
Two of my friends from college were found guilty of those offenses, and they didn't even have to deal with the police.
In fact, one of them even told administrators a ridiculous story about how he had become a born-again Christian, and was trying desperately to reform. But some of his old mischievous friends came into town and caused him to relapse into his former pranking self.
All this Georgia Tech student did was play with some harmless chemicals. These water bottle bombs are no more than noise makers. Another friend of mine in high school made one and set it off in the courtyard of the school. Its only projectile is the bottle cap, which if all the moon, stars, and planets in the Milky Way were aligned might poke someone's eye out. Other than that, they're harmless.
The Tech student even showed remorse confessing and telling police that he threw as many as 12 bottles from his room but retrieved the others after the commotion.
He should not even have to learn a lesson. What lesson can you really teach a Tech student. Most of them are brilliant.
I say put him on academic probation and let it go. Don't try to make an example of a normally smart person and ruin his life or career.
Justin Boron is the government reporter for the News-Daily. His column appears Monday. He can be reached at 770-478-5753 or firstname.lastname@example.org .