More Suspects Possible in Bomb Prank

The key suspect, Elphbert Laforteza, has been released while investigators look for more suspects

Elphbert Laforteza is out of jail, for now.

The high school honor student, arrested and accused of planting homemade bombs in trash cans outside San Ysidro High School as part of a prank, has been released from jail.

He's still a suspect, prosecutors say, and will likely face charges in the near future. However, the investigation into last Friday's incident is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

Laforteza, 18, was jailed on $860,000 bail Saturday after he allegedly brought a dozen homemade bombs to school as a senior prank

Several of the plastic bottles, containing some type of acid and another unidentified substance, were set in trash cans a few feet from where students were having lunch at San Ysidro High School. Six of the bottles exploded. No one was hurt but they were big enough to have killed someone according to San Diego Fire Department spokesperson Maurice Luque.

"To some kids, they think it's all fun and games,” Luque said. “This is serious stuff. I mean this is a very serious situation here and he's being charged with felonies."

Laforteza was booked on five counts of making a destructive device and 8 counts of using an explosive device to injure. However, on Tuesday a spokesperson for the district attorney's office said Laforteza will go uncharged at this point.

The senior, who had been awarded a scholarship, will receive his diploma but will not "walk" with the rest of his class during graduation ceremonies, according to school officials.

Shortly after being released from South Bay Detention Center, NBC 7/39 spoke to Laforteza's father by phone.  In the short converation, the father only said that his son was terrified in jail and that he began sobbing as soon as he was released.

Some of Laforteza's fellow students are trying to help him stay out of jail for good by starting a writing campaign.  The students are writing letters to the court, pleading for leniency. 

Peruz Dawoudi has been a classmate of Laforteza since Junior High School says she plans on writing a letter to the judge.  "He (Elphbert) is a really smart guy and what he did was just a prank,"said Dawoudi.

Contact Us