Police: South Fork man detonated explosives by bridge, had explosive materials in house

Local News

SOUTH FORK, Pa. (WTAJ)– A South Fork man is now in custody after police yesterday responded to a report at around 1 p.m. of a possible pipe bomb by a residence along Highway Street.

Mark Yatsky, 57, has been charged with a felony count of unlawful possession or manufacture of weapons of mass destruction along with other misdemeanor counts after police discovered he set off two explosives in the South Fork Borough in the evening of Sept. 9, as well as being in possession of explosive materials at his house.

An officer arrived at Yatsky’s house to further the investigation of the explosions that took place the day before. The officer found Yatsky to be on his back porch with a suspected explosive device that had end caps, a coffee can with scrap metal and what also appeared to look like sticks of dynamite, police say.

Police then detained Yatsky and searched Yatsky’s body to find a glass smoking pipe and a wooden container, that was believed to hold marijuana, in his left pocket. In his right pocket police found a metal smoking pipe.

Crews were then called to the scene to further assist in the investigation. After interviews, officials learned that Yatsky purchased dynamite and detonated two explosive devices the evening before in the area of Maple Street bridge.

Troopers believe that Yatsky detonated the explosive devices for personal enjoyment and did not mean to cause any injury to anybody or damage to any property, however, there was still damage done to the Maple Street bridge, police say.

During the investigation, a member of the fire unit that was assisting found residue from an explosive device by the bridge along with pieces of metal debris and pieces of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in the area. After receiving a search warrant, officials also found several explosives-related materials and a glass smoking pipe.

After the interview, Yatsky was transported to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. A judge issued an arrest warrant for Yatsky once he is released from the hospital.

Along with the felony count he also faces misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person, possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct and prohibited weapons.

Homes in the surrounding area were vacated as a precaution as troopers with the Pennsylvania State Police Hazardous Device and Explosives Section responded to assist. Additional agencies that assisted in the investigation include South Fork PoliceDepartment, Cambria County District Attorney’s Office, Troop A Ebensburg patrol units, Troop A Fire Marshal Unit, the Cambria County Emergency Management Agency and the South Fork Volunteer Fire Department.

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