Suspect in custody for explosive devices on Ohio River had his run-ins with authorities before

Local News

MARIETTA, OH (WOWK) – We’re continuing to follow the spree of unexploded bombs found on boats along the Ohio River. So far, one person is in custody in connection to the discovery.

The suspect, Nathan Becker, is being charged for the crimes in federal court, but he is no stranger to local law enforcement. Becker was pulled over for a commercial traffic stop by Washington County Sheriff deputies in February of 2020.

“When the officer went to approach the vehicle Mr. Becker got out of his vehicle and ended up producing a couple edged weapons. And basically, make some comments that he wished to commit suicide by cop and then got back in his car and a pursuit ensued,” said Lt. Eric Hunter.

Becker then spent 208 days in jail before being released and agreeing to complete a drug rehabilitation program. Now he’s the main suspect in dropping multiple destructive devices onto tow boats off of bridges along the Ohio River.

“It’s common to see repeat offenders as far as crimes go, that’s why we have a recidivism rate that they monitor. However I didn’t really see this coming of him manufacturing or alleged to be manufacturing his own explosives,” added Hunter.

According to the affidavit, investigators were able to obtain surveillance footage of Becker in a Lowe’s in Marietta buying items that were made to create the bombs.

Members of the Marietta community are having a hard time understanding the situation.

“I’m a little surprised because this is like a small hometown kind of thing and this is kind of surprised because nothing really happens here,” said Melissa Standish, who lives in Marietta.

Another resident Tyler Kramer says, “I don’t know what causes someone to build a pipe bomb and decide to walk on a bridge and dump it on a barge.”

There is no word of Becker’s motive for creating the destructive devices at this time, the investigation is ongoing.

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