On August 26, a construction worker standing near a line of students outside Rosemead High School in El Monte saw a Bic pen lying on the ground. He picked it up and it exploded in his hands leaving him with minor hand and face injuries.
In mid September, a woman walking outside the fence around the same high school saw the same type of pen lying on the ground. She picked it up, pulled off the cap and it exploded in her hands. Hers were the same type of injuries and included pieces of the pen imbedded in her face and hands.
Last Friday morning in an El Monte High School restroom, a student saw a felt tip marker lying on the floor. He picked it up, popped off the cap and the marker exploded in his face. Again, minor burns and cuts to hands and face were the results.
Police and school officials are frantically trying to track down the "trickster" beforer someone gets really hurt. They have so far searched a Rosemead residence without success. Police said that there was a rumor that the devices were coming from ice cream carts. They checked out some ice cream carts and found pyrotecnics but no links to the exploding pens. (Pyrotecnics on ice cream carts? Someone please explain this to me. Oh, It's LA; now I understand.)
"You never think it's going to happen to you, ever," El Monte High Principal Joel Kyne said. "It makes you be aware of the funky things going on." This is the same mentality as that shown by those who put needles and razor blades in Halloween candy.
TAGS: El Monte, Los Angeles, Rosemead, exploding pens