Suspect in courthouse pipe bombs unsuccessfully sued county
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A man who federal agents said exploded two bombs outside a South Carolina courthouse had his lawsuit about poor jail conditions in the same county thrown out just days earlier.
The Tuesday arrest of Michael Seabrooke caused a stir in Pickens County after he told agents he threw other bombs on top of the roof of another county building. The building was evacuated and the bombs were made safe, officials said.
Two homemade pipe bombs exploded late Sunday night outside the courthouse, shattering windows but doing little other damage and causing no injuries, authorities said.
The bombs were connected to a propane tank with its valve open, but the tank did not ignite, according to a sworn statement from a federal agent.
Investigators used surveillance cameras to get the license number of a pickup truck driving near the courthouse and traced it back to Seabrooke.
When they took him into custody Tuesday at a Columbia home and searched his room and truck, they found two receipts from Sunday from a McDonald’s restaurant in Pickens County and plastic wrap, tape and a fuse that matched the unexploded bombs left on the building roof, court records said.
Seabrooke faces a federal charge of possession of a destructive device. He is out on bail from a January rape charge in Fairfield County, just north of Columbia, according to state court records. The county sheriff didn’t return a call to get details on that charge.
Court records did not list a lawyer to speak on Seabrooke’s behalf in either the Pickens County or Fairfield County cases.
Seabrooke acted as his own attorney after suing Pickens County and several officials last year, saying he was denied medical care, forced to sleep on the floor and threatened by lynch mobs during the 461 days he spent in the county jail after being charged with first-degree burglary, stalking and breach of the peace.
“My medical needs were serious and life-threatening and the defendant was deliberately and intentionally indifferent to those medical needs. An infected tooth can and has killed many people,” Seabrooke wrote by hand in court papers.
The burglary charge was dropped after Seabrooke pleaded guilty in January and he was sentenced to time served plus probation.
A judge dismissed Seabrooke’s lawsuit just days before the bombs exploded at the courthouse.
The Pickens County courthouse opened for business at its normal time Monday after the blasts.
Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP .