ONEIDA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The 17-year-old who police blame for a house explosion in Oneida had been detained by police related to a domestic dispute and checked into the hospital for intoxication hours before he allegedly stole an SUV and crashed it into the home’s gas line, NewsChannel 9 has exclusively confirmed.
The series of events began when state troopers were called to the dispute between the 17-year-old and his 16-year-old girlfriend in Verona, according to New York State Police.
The 17-year-old male, whose name hasn’t been released by police, was found at the home in a “highly intoxicated state” and shirtless, troopers said.
Due to his drunkenness, police say, he was “too intoxicated to state who he was” and “unable to provide any information regarding his side of the incident.”
Following New York State’s mental hygiene law, police called an ambulance, which took the 17-year-old to the hospital.
At the hospital, troopers say, his supervision was transferred to a hospital nurse.
After being released from the hospital, the teen is accused of stealing a Toyota RAV4 and crashing it into a home on West Elm Street. The home exploded three hours later.
The neighborhood was evacuated, and no injuries were caused by the explosion. In addition to the home that was obliterated, at least five neighboring homes were severely damaged.
Police said over the weekend they intend to charge the 17-year-old this week but described a slow process to build a strong case against a minor. As of Thursday afternoon, Sept. 14, he had not been charged.
Oneida Police confirm having dealt with the suspect before but declined more details because of his age.