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Police uniform found in home rented by man who had bomb

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Police want to know why a geologist arrested with a homemade bomb in New York state on Saturday had a police uniform in the Exton Lake Road house he was renting in Washington Township.

Jason A. Babson, 29, of Hudson Falls, N.Y., was arrested there about 3 a.m. Saturday, said Hudson Falls police Chief Randy Diamond.

"He was babbling and talking about blowing up a school," Diamond said. He also allegedly made threats against the CIA, police and fire departments.

Diamond said Babson was a geologist for the Monroeville-based Paul C. Rizzo Associates and rented the Washington Township house for when he visited corporate offices, according to published reports.

The company has offices at the ExpoMart.

Yesterday, a Rizzo Associates spokeswoman refused to say whether Babson is an employee of the company or has ever been.

Diamond said his officers called Washington Township police Saturday afternoon to ask them to check the rented house.

Washington Township officers closed down Exton Lake Road, obtained a search warrant and entered the house after the Allegheny County Bomb Squad made sure it was safe.

Inspector David Walsh said the bomb squad removed two big boxes of illegal incendiary components.

To their surprise, township police found a Hudson Falls police uniform and badge, Officer Steve Alrich said.

"It had the patches and everything, and Hudson Falls wants it back," Alrich said. "We confiscated it."

Washington Township police said Babson hasn't been at the rented house in the township recently.

Local police and the bomb squad are still investigating.

"This case continues to unfold almost by the minute," Diamond said.

"Babson never worked for us. We really have no idea why he had a uniform. This is very puzzling, and we're very concerned about it," he said.

Diamond said there are no missing uniforms at his department.

"It may be an older one owned by someone else. But again, why did this guy have it• We don't know, " he said.

He said federal agents are also interested in the case.

Hudson Falls police said the black powder bomb had two sources of ignition.

Babson is being held without bond on charges of having a explosive devise and illegal fireworks.

A preliminary hearing is slated for Thursday afternoon, but Hudson Falls' police chief believes a grand jury will indict the man Thursday morning and send the case to trial.

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