RICHLANDS, Va. — A Virginia man described as a possible “incel” accidentally blew his hand off while tinkering with a bomb that authorities believe was meant to kill women, according to a federal affidavit.
Cole Alexander Carini, 23, of Richlands, was arrested Thursday and charged with one count of lying to federal agents, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia. He is being held in the Western Virginia Regional Jail.
U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen said in a news release that Carini went to a health clinic in Richlands on Wednesday suffering from severe injuries to his hands and fingers. One hand was missing, as were several fingers from the opposite hand.
Carini also had shrapnel wounds to his neck and throat, according to the news release.
After being rushed to Clinch Valley Medical Center in Richlands, Carini told police he had suffered the injuries in a lawnmower accident at his home.
Editor’s note: This story contains graphic imagery that might be disturbing to some readers.
A search of his home told a different story, according to the affidavit in the case. Officers found the lawn to be overgrown, with grass 6 inches high and no signs of a recent mowing.
In a footlocker in Carini’s bedroom, authorities found a plastic bottle containing triacetone triperoxide, which an FBI agent wrote is an explosive used to create improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.
Beside the footlocker was a box of rusty nails, which could be used as shrapnel in an IED.
“Adjacent to the nails on the floor was a blistered plastic container. The top of the container had been peeled back in a manner consistent with an explosion,” Special Agent Neil Schimke wrote.
Read the entire criminal complaint against Cole Carini below.
Blinds on a bedroom window had cut marks consistent with shrapnel having pierced them, according to Schimke.
“Near the blinds was a T-shirt with the same cut marks,” Schimke wrote. “On the ceiling above the plastic container was a red substance believed to be blood splattered on the ceiling, along with a skin colored chunk believed to be flesh.”
An adjacent wall also appeared to be splattered with blood, the agent wrote.
FBI agents searching the home found blood droplets leading from the bedroom, down the stairs and out the front door. Blood was also found on and inside a red minivan adjacent to the door of the home.
Federal agents, along with Virginia State Police troopers and Tazewell County sheriff’s deputies, began walking the perimeter of the property in a search for potential bomb test sites, the affidavit stated. They identified a red shed next door, behind Carini’s grandmother’s home.
“While inspecting the red shed from the railroad tracks that ran behind the shed, agents and investigators identified several items that gave probable cause to obtain a search warrant for the shed, including a surveillance system, PVC pipes, pieces of loose wires, empty chemical containers, extension cables and a pit that appeared to have loose soil surrounding it consistent with the site of an explosion,” Schimke wrote in the affidavit.
Inside the shed were additional empty chemical containers, coffee filters, various electronic switches, a hot plate and a container filled with an unidentified fluid. Next to the hot plate were coffee cups with a white, crystalline residue in them.
On the ground, investigators found a crumpled letter containing disturbing scenarios of revenge against women.
Some of the statements included:
“He casually walked through the shopping mall. His jacket concealed deadly objects.”
“He had … of tension that would come and go as he now approached the stage of hot cheerleaders.”
“Even if he died, this statement was worth it!”
“A dead seriousness sank in as he realized that he was truly passing the point of no return.”
“He decided, ‘I will not back down. I will not be afraid of the consequences, no matter what. I will be heroic. I will make a statement like Elliot Rodgers did,’ he thought to himself.”
Elliot Rodger, 22, killed six people and injured another 14 in a stabbing and shooting spree on May 23, 2014, in Isla Vista, California. Rodger targeted women as punishment for his romantic rejections.
He also targeted men he envied because he believed them to be more successful with women.
Before killing himself in his BMW, Rodger posted a video on YouTube in which he complained about his virginity. He also sent several acquaintances a 141-page document that detailed his childhood, his mental health and his hatred of women.
That document has since become a bible of sorts to an online community known as “incels,” or the “involuntarily celibate.” Rodger’s actions have also inspired other acts of mass murder, including an April 2018 van attack in Toronto in which the driver, Alek Minassian, killed 10 pedestrians and injured 16 more by driving onto a sidewalk and plowing into them.
Minassian’s trial, which was scheduled for April, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CVT News reported.
FBI agents went to Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where Carini had been transferred for treatment, and again questioned him about how he was injured, according to the affidavit. They also told him what had been found during the search of his home.
“When asked if he remembered what happened to put him in the hospital, Carini told the agents he was mowing his yard and the mower flipped over in such a way that it drug his hands into the blades, and because the blades were spinning so fast, it acted like a bomb,” Schimke wrote.
Carini also talked about legal trouble he had gotten into in the past for making explosives. According to the affidavit, state police officials and Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office officials already had Carini on their radar because of his past.
Carini was on probation until September for a conviction for making explosives, the document stated.
When the agents asked Carini about the chemicals found at his home, he denied knowing of anything there that could explode, Schimke wrote.
“Carini was asked again how he was injured and he repeated his story about a lawnmower accident,” the affidavit charged. “On several other occasions during the interview, Carini was confronted with additional details of the explosion that had occurred in his room, and each time, Carini again repeated the lawnmower story.”
Because of the evidence found at Carini’s home and inside his grandmother’s shed, he was charged with lying to law enforcement officials.
The charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism, up to eight years in prison, according to Cornell Law School.
Cox Media Group