OKLAHOMA CITY – Police say a potentially dangerous situation was averted, thanks to an alert neighbor.
Paige Keller says she called police after noticing a man mixing unknown items in the trunk of his car at her apartment complex.
Keller said, “This guy, I’ve called the cops on him before because he just sits in my parking lot for hours and hours and hours rummaging through his car.”
When officials arrived in the 1200 block of W. Hefner Rd., they say they found an improvised explosive device and arrested 28-year-old Spencer Colin Griffith.
Capt. Dexter Nelson, with the Oklahoma City Police Department, said, “The device he had manufactured, although it’s a small device, very easy to conceal, can very easily kill if it goes off.”
He added, ‘Without going into too much detail, placing a device in a car with gasoline can only make matters worse.”
Griffith is a familiar figure at The Cottages Apartments.
Hailey Barnwell says she had an encounter with him just a few days before he was arrested.
Barnwell said, “I just looked through the peep-hole and saw a ball cap on so I went ahead and opened it and it turned out the man was naked and tried to force his way into my house.”
Griffith is charged with the manufacture of an explosive device, first and second-degree burglary, assault and battery, possession of burglary tools and indecent exposure.
Capt. Nelson said, “The combination of what he was doing with the ladies at the complex and the nudity at the apartment complex coupled with an explosive device is a weird combination and is something we don’t normally see.”
The OCPD Bomb Squad searched Griffith’s home about four miles away and found items of interest, but no working devices.
Griffith has a record of larceny and possession of narcotics.
Police say this is an ongoing investigation and more charges could be filed against him in the future.
On Tuesday afternoon, The Cottages at Hefner Road sent NewsChannel 4 a statement.
It read, “We regret that the situation took place at our complex, but we are beyond thankful that everyone at our complex and surrounding area is safe. While the situation was very unfortunate and dangerous, it is because of our diligent and watchful residents, the City of Oklahoma City Police Department, and the OCPD Bomb Squad that we were able to avoid a potentially catastrophic situation. The suspect was not a resident of The Cottages and was in fact trespassing on our premises. Although we cannot guarantee 100% safety, The Cottages at Hefner Road has and always will, strive to provide a safe place for our residents to call home. We are able to [achieve] this with the help of our residents, the City of Oklahoma City Police Department, and Oklahoma Security Services, LLC who provides our after-hours security service. The Cottages at Hefner Road will continue to be diligent and thorough in our qualifying process, which for the record is above the average industry standard. We want to thank everyone who assisted in the capture of the suspect, the removal of the bomb threat, and for keeping our residents and surrounding neighbors safe.”