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Report: Man injured from own explosives made threats to blow up Veteran's Affairs hospitals

DALLAS, S.D. -- A man indicted on charges for possessing explosives in Gregory County made frequent threats about blowing up Veterans Affairs hospitals, according to a report from a Division of Criminal Investigation special agent.

DALLAS, S.D. -- A man indicted on charges for possessing explosives in Gregory County made frequent threats about blowing up Veterans Affairs hospitals, according to a report from a Division of Criminal Investigation special agent.

Martin Rezac, 59, of Dallas, S.D., was hospitalized on Thanksgiving Day when an explosive device detonated in his home at 413 Des Moines Ave. in Dallas, a town in south-central South Dakota.

According to court documents obtained Tuesday by The Daily Republic, Rezac “possibly lost several fingers” from both hands and sustained cuts and abrasions to his face due to the explosion. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance after the explosion.

Earlier this month, a judge approved a warrant for Rezac’s arrest. He was indicted and charged with three felonies on Friday. According to a press release issued Wednesday morning, Rezac was arrested Tuesday in Denver, Colorado.

On Nov. 27, the day after the explosion, a DCI special agent interviewed Rezac’s friend, Allen Kayl, who was in custody in the Winner City Jail.

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Kayl told law enforcement officers that Rezac made several comments about VA hospital staff “pissing him off,” court documents state. Kayl said Rezac frequently made comments about blowing up a VA hospital and said he knew how to do it.

When asked if Kayl believed Rezac was capable of doing so, Kayl allegedly “confirmed there was a possibility he would in fact do it.”

Kayl said he believed Rezac was referring specifically to hospitals in Hot Springs or Sioux Falls.

Rezac’s residence was searched on Nov. 26, 27 and 28, and law enforcement allegedly found an explosive device constructed from a peanut butter jar and a PVC pipe bomb, along with numerous chemicals, including sodium nitrate, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, isopropyl alcohol and sea salt.

Law enforcement also allegedly found a modified colander, scales, an epoxy kit, a digital thermometer, a glass bottle labeled “flash” and a legal notepad with handwritten notes and directions to make a homemade explosive called hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, a “very volatile” chemical made from common substances like hexamine, hydrogen peroxide and citric acid and was once popularly used in mining operations.

Seven containers containing unknown substances were also removed from the residence and were unable to be identified, court documents state.

Two days prior to the explosion, Rezac’s aunt, Evelyn, called the Gregory County Sheriff’s Office, according to court documents, and said she believed Rezac “was making bombs to kill prairie dogs.”

Kayl also said Rezac had used explosives on prairie dog towns in the past, and Rezac allegedly showed Kayl videos of those detonations.

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Kayl said he believed Rezac learned how to make the explosives on the Internet, and said Rezac showed him several websites with such instructions.

On Dec. 14, a judge approved a warrant for Rezac’s arrest. On Dec. 18, Rezac was indicted and charged with possession of explosives with criminal intent, a Class 3 felony, punishable upon conviction by up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine; possessing a destructive device, a Class 4 felony, punishable upon conviction by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine; and possession of materials with the intent to make explosives, a Class 5 felony, punishable upon conviction by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Related Topics: CRIME
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