Two arrested for setting off dry ice bombs

Couple apprehended Saturday; second bombexploded near University Police officer.

Love may be blind, but it certainly isn’t deaf. After the weekend, no two people know that better than students Anthony Shortt and girlfriend Sarah Claussen.

Shortt and Claussen, both 19, were arrested Saturday after residents of Delta Hall called University Police to report a loud explosion. The two students were charged with third-degree felonies for discharging a destructive device.

The explosion in question was the detonation of a “dry ice bomb.”

According to, the pair detonated two bombs, the second of which exploded in front of police officers. Although Shortt admitted both bombs were his, Claussen was arrested for helping him gather the supplies necessary to make the explosives.

Handling dry ice bombs is dangerous because the explosion time is unpredictable. Occasionally, the detonation results in loss of eyesight and other severe injuries – or in this case, jail time. Despite this, instructions for making the devices litter the Internet, as do videos of their detonation. This is due, perhaps, to the simplicity of the bombs, which are commonly made by mixing warm water with dry ice in a plastic bottle.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Web site listed the pair as being released on their own recognizance after spending the night at the Orient Road jail.

UP spokeswoman Lt. Meg Ross said the next step will be to refer the couple to Student Affairs, where a punishment will be determined. She also said it is unclear whether Shortt and Claussen were allowed back into the dorms in which they reside.