New details after man federally charged with leaving homemade explosives outside downtown building

Man accused of leaving backpack filled with homemade explosives in front of downtown building

PITTSBURGH — The bomb squad found three homemade Molotov cocktails in a military style backpack outside a downtown Pittsburgh office building. The man accused of leaving them there is now facing federal charges.

Investigators said the devices were constructed of “spent OC vapor grenades” that the Pittsburgh Police had previously used. There was a fluid inside that was leaking and all three devices had wicks attached to them. The wicks were held in place with what appeared to be spray foam insulation.

Content Continues Below

Police said PNC security officers found the bag by a bike rack, under some trees outside the building.

According to a criminal complaint, ATF agents raided the home of Matthew Michanowicz, 52, after he admitted he was the man in surveillance video captured outside the building. Agents found fuses matching the ones attached to the explosives, a can of spray foam insulation and a syringe filled with liquid that smelled similar to what was found inside the devices.

You can customize your WPXI News App to receive alerts for Allegheny County news. CLICK HERE to find out how.

Michanowicz was originally granted bond, but officials revoked it after the search of his Mt. Washington home.

“Once again, we see that certain participants in the protests in Pittsburgh were only present to serve as agitators and to incite violence. Let’s call them what they are: criminals. They have no intention of peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights; they seek only to incite and destroy. Michanowicz brought a backpack full of homemade Molotov cocktails to downtown Pittsburgh. He wasn’t there to protest; he was there to engage in violent attacks," U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said.

RAW Chopper 11 flies over Washington protest