Police: Myerstown bomb suspect believes aliens will destroy the Earth with ‘nuclear laser beam’

LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. -- The suspect accused of planting an explosive outside a Myerstown hotel Sunday said he did so to get the attention of police, none of whom would listen to his story that aliens are going to destroy the Earth with a nuclear laser beam if humans didn't "start being good people," according to the criminal complaint affidavit filed in the case.

David Oxenreider, 28, was arrested Sunday after State Police were called to the scene of a bomb threat at the Behney House Hotel on West Main Street at about 8:54 a.m.

Oxenreider, who lives at the hotel, allegedly told the manager of the property that he had made an explosive device, and that it was inside his room. The manager contacted police and told them he ordered Oxenreider to remove the device from the building. Oxenreider complied, placing the device next to a dumpster outside the building, the manager said.

Police responded to the scene and located both Oxenreider and the device. Approximately 30 residents of the Bahney House were evacuated while members of the State Police Hazardous and Explosives Section looked for potential secondary devices and disarmed the main device.

Traffic was disrupted for approximately six hours while the situation was being investigated and resolved, police said in a press release.

According to police, Oxenreider said it was not his intent to hurt anyone, and that the device had to be detonated by hand. He told police he made the device because he wanted to talk to police about things he had been experiencing. He had previously gone to several police agencies, but no one would listen to him, the criminal complaint states.

Oxenreider allegedly told police that in 2014, he had encountered a UFO and aliens. He said the aliens told him "humans need to start being good people, or else they were going to destroy the Earth with a nuclear laser beam," according to the criminal complaint.

Oxenreider said he had been trying to spread the advice the aliens had given him, but no one listens to him.

"When he tells people about his alien encounter, people say he is crazy," the criminal complaint said.

Those who knew Oxenreider say he converted to Islam a few years ago and went by the name “Muhammad Shahid.”

“He’s Muslim and he talked about it and talked about it but I thought if you’re going to do something this big why are you going to brag about it," said Jennifer Templin. 

"I got to know him a little bit and there were those glimpses that he was a really good guy but then his other talk was just out there some of it was really hard to listen to all his talk about bombs, making bombs and something is going to happen," said Jessica Bankus. “I kind of wish I would have took what he said more seriously, it’s sad," she added.

Oxenreider is being charged with manufacturing a weapon of mass destruction, causing or risking a catastrophe and recklessly endangering another person.

He was taken to the Lebanon County Booking Center and is awaiting arraignment on the charges.

Note: This story has been updated as new details into the arrest emerge

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