Mental evaluation ordered for man accused of bombing Air Force recruiting office in Oklahoma

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BIXBY, Okla. – A man accused of setting off a pipe bomb outside an Air Force recruiting office in Oklahoma has been ordered to undergo a mental evaluation.

Around 10:30 p.m. on Monday, officers with the bomb squad were called to an explosion in Bixby.

Air Force Recruiting Office Bixby

Fortunately, no one was injured since the recruitment center was closed at the time.

Investigators say the suspect threw a pipe bomb, which was concealed with a military style ammunition can, at the office, the affidavit states.

Tuesday afternoon, investigators announced that a person of interest had been taken into custody for the bombing.

Officials identified 28-year-old Benjamin Roden as the person of interest in the case after receiving a tip about comments he made on social media.

Roden, a former Senior Airman in the U.S. Air Force, was trained as a firefighter but wanted to be trained as an electrician by the U.S. Air Force, court documents state.

However, he resigned when he discovered he could not complete all necessary training required to become a certified electrician.

Roden’s last commanding officer before he resigned told authorities Roden was “smart and capable of constructing electronic devices.”

His former commanding officer said Roden “hated the military and had received disciplinary actions for his conduct.”

He reportedly wanted to quit the Air Force and join the U.S. Marines.

When Roden was not accepted by the U.S. Marines, he allegedly blamed the U.S. Air Force, the affidavit states.

The night of the explosion, a witness reported seeing a white male driving a red motorcycle from the area.

Officials checked Oklahoma Vehicle Registration Records and found Roden owns a red 2015 Honda motorcycle.

According to the affidavit, when authorities went to Roden’s apartment, they reportedly found items associated with the manufacturing of explosive devices and two other pipe bombs.

Roden is facing charges for malicious damage to federal property by use of explosive, destruction of federal property and use of explosive to commit federal felony.

On Friday, the Tulsa World reports that U.S. Magistrate Frank McCarthy ordered that Roden undergo a mental evaluation after defense attorneys questioned whether he can assist in his own defense.

During the hearing, attorneys said that Roden’s mental health has been declining and he is exhibiting “extreme paranoia and bizarre behavior.”

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