FORT WAYNE – A man faces neglect charges after an explosive substance he was tinkering with blew up in his northeast-side apartment, injuring him and his two children in January, according to court papers filed Wednesday.
Robert V. Erb, 43, was preliminarily charged with five felonies: possession of a destructive device, two counts of neglect of a dependent and two counts of possession of child pornography.
The explosion occurred the evening of Jan. 29 at Erbs apartment in the River Cove public housing complex near North Clinton Street and Auburn Road.
Erbs son and daughter told police they were in their fathers bedroom while he was working on an explosive substance he had made. As Erb was chipping the substance with a chisel, it blew up, court papers stated.
Debris from the blast cut the boys face, neck and arms, and he suffered hearing loss. The girl suffered cuts to her face, neck, arms and chest, court papers said.
Erbs hand was blown off in the explosion, and at the time, he was in critical condition, Fort Wayne police said.
The ages of his children were not in court documents. A neighbor previously told The Journal Gazette that they were teenagers.
In Erbs bedroom, police found five pipe bombs and numerous containers of bomb-making chemicals, according to court documents. Police have said that Erb is not suspected of plotting to use the bombs to intentionally harm anyone.
Investigators searched his computer and found images of him making and mixing chemicals and setting off explosions in a remote spot. They also found an unspecified number of child porn images, court papers stated.
Erb, of the 3800 block of Leesburg Road, was held Wednesday at the Allen County Lockup in lieu of $35,000.