A 28-year-old Webster Street man with a mysterious past was arraigned bedside at Mass General Hospital with second-degree burns caused by an explosion unleased in the second floor of his apartment on Sunday – an explosion police said came about when he was “tinkering with chemicals” to allegedly make a bomb.
At approximately 12:40 a.m. on Sunday, members of the Boston Police Department, Boston Fire Department, and Boston EMS responded to the area of 88 Webster St., where an explosion in Mikula’s second floor apartment had blown two windows and their frames into the street and caused additional structural and interior damage.
Mikula, who suffered burns in the blast, was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported.
During a press conference Sunday afternoon, Police Commissioner William Evans assured the public that there was no terrorist plot believed to be in the works. Police did say there was evidence that Mikula was trying to make a pipe bomb out of PVC pipe.
“The good thing is we don’t believe this has anything to do with terrorism here,” said Evans. “Someone had weapons in there and was playing around with chemicals and powder and that blew up on him.”
While police investigated, numerous neighbors were evacuated from their homes while search warrants were executed. The evacuations continued into Sunday.
During the search, Boston Police recovered materials consistent with those used to make explosives and PVC pipes configured into what appeared to be a pipe bomb, prosecutors said on Monday at arraignment in Mass General. Also recovered were two handguns, including a loaded semi-automatic handgun with a high capacity magazine; a rifle; hundreds of rounds of live ammunition; homemade fireworks; and two air rifles.
The explosion caused structural damage to the interior of the home, and was said to have blown holes in the ceiling and floor – though that hadn’t been confirmed by ISD.
The Boston Police Bomb Squad initiated a protective sweep initially on response, and observed the bomb-making evidence in plain sight.
The FBI and ATF then came in to assist in collecting the home-made bomb-making materials.
Mikula was charged with possession of explosives, possession of an incendiary device, discharge of explosives, possession of a large capacity firearm, carrying a loaded firearm, unattended firearm, unattended ammunition, unlawful possession of ammunition, and three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm as a subsequent offense. East Boston Municipal Court Judge John McDonald set bail in the amount of $200,000 and ordered that Mikula be subject to home confinement and GPS monitoring in the event he posts that amount.
Assistant District Attorney Brian LeBlanc said at arraignment that Mikula was previously convicted of illegally possessing a firearm in 2009.
Mikula’s history has also drawn some questions. Internet searches showed that he is a lead bartender at a high-end Boylston Street bar abutting the Public Garden. It also indicated he attended Boston Latin and was an Army Ranger for some years – though none of that was fully confirmed.
Other media outlets reported that he had been charged in an identity theft situation with an elderly man in Allston-Brighton some years ago.
Mikula was represented or bail purposes only by Arthur Shabo. He is expected to appear in court Aug. 6.
The aftermath of the explosion on Webster Street last Sunday morning. Boston Police worked the scene carefully and found evidence of bomb-making activities in the second floor apartment. A 28-year-old Eastie man was arrested and charged in the case on Monday. He suffered second-degree burns in the explosion.