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Accused Fire Bomber Held On $750K Bail In Attack On Boston Police Cruiser

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A man police say left an explosive device next to a Boston police cruiser is being held on $750,000 cash bail.

Accused BPD cruiser bomber
Asim Kieta is seen during his arraignment Monday in South Boston District Court. (WBZ-TV)

Prosecutors charged 42-year-old Asim Kieta with possession of an explosive device and assault with intent to murder, among other charges, during his arraignment Monday morning in South Boston District Court. Not-guilty pleas were entered on his behalf.

South Boston Cruiser
Flames near a Boston Police cruiser in South Boston. (Image Credit: Tom Kujala)

The improvised bomb that included a propane tank exploded Friday morning outside a police substation in South Boston.

Flames in the area where a Boston Police cruiser was parked on West Broadway in South Boston. (Image Credit: Tom Kujala)

No one was seriously injured.

"The evidence shows this is a deliberate and direct act of violence against the police,"  prosecutor Catherine Ham said in court.


WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karyn Regal reports Kieta had one family member in the courtroom. That family member told WBZ he has not seen Kieta in a long time.

Prosecutors said Kieta has four restraining orders against him by family members, including his sister.

Kieta's attorney said in court it appears this was a discarded propane tank that caught fire, adding the case against his client is "a witch hunt."

"It sounds like there was some trash caught fire in a gutter," defense attorney Thomas Menton said.

If Kieta makes bail, he will be required to wear a GPS device.

His next court appearance is scheduled for February 2.

Kieta was previously a driver for Uber. A company spokesman said in a statement Monday that Kieta was let go earlier this month, but would not explain the reason why he was no longer working for the online ride service.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said he doesn't know the motive, but noted that the homeless suspect has a criminal past. In court Monday, it was learned that Kieta's probation record is sealed. Evans says Kieta apparently acted alone and the explosion does not appear to be part of a wider plot.

Evans says surveillance video helped police track down Kieta, who was arrested Saturday night in Charlestown.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karyn Regal reports

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