NEW: Rantoul police arrest Indiana man following bomb scare

NEW: Rantoul police arrest Indiana man following bomb scare

RANTOUL — Rantoul police have arrested the Indiana man who was wanted after a suspected bomb were found in his truck Wednesday morning. 

Jeremiah Bridges, 38, was taken into custody early Wednesday evening, authorities said, ending a long, frightening day in Rantoul.

Police had been looking for Bridges for most of the day after a search of a vehicle belived to belong to him revealed a sleeping 12-year-old boy, weapons, ammunition and what authorities believe was an unexploded bomb.

The area near the intersection of U.S. 45 and Letchworth Avenue was cordoned off, and no traffic was allowed in or out of Rantoul on U.S. 45 from the north.

The Champaign/University of Illinois bomb squad was called in after the vehicle search revealed what police said might be an unexploded bomb.

Rantoul police Lt. Jeff Wooten said the bomb squad might take the device to a rural area to detonate it.

The incident began at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday when the owner of a business said he discovered a truck parked in his parking lot. The owner found a youngster asleep inside and alerted police.

Wooten said police found the 12-year-old boy and a dog that had been left unattended in the truck.

“The boy was awakened at 2 a.m., and his dad told him to go back to sleep, and that was the last he had seen of his dad,” Wooten said.

Police tried to call Bridges’ cell phone but got no answer. Champaign County sheriff’s deputies were called in to help search the area.

Wooten said firearms, a large amount of ammunition and what police believe was “an explosive device” were located inside the truck.

Wooten said “the boy is fine,” was taken to the Rantoul police station and is in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services.

Dave Hinton is editor of the Rantoul Press, a News-Gazette Media community newspaper. For more, visit

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jules1952 wrote on July 12, 2017 at 3:07 pm

An unexploded bomb?  As opposed to an exploded bomb?


rsp wrote on July 12, 2017 at 6:07 pm

My brother brought home a morter round from the military. Part of his training was to disarm it so it was hollow inside. It was about 10" tall. Made an interesting conversation piece but if his house ever was raided they would have considered it a live round. I keep wondering what happened to it...

cofferkw wrote on July 13, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Where's the dog?