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Jail-bomb suspect arrested in Klamath Falls

A suspect who allegedly left a plastic bottle filled with an unknown chemical at the Klamath County Jail is now in the jail.

Sheriff Frank Skrah said today that Jerald Lynn Chasteen, 34, a transient, turned himself in at the Klamath Falls Police Department earlier in the day.

Detective Eric Shepherd said Chasteen, who is known to local authorities, was charged with misdemeanor possessing a “hoax, destructive device.”

“That’s not to say that the device was a hoax,” Shepherd told the Herald and News. “We still don’t have the chemical makeup of what was in the bottle yet.”

The bottle was left at the front door of the jail Thursday afternoon. An Oregon State Police bomb squad from Medford was summoned and neutralized the liquid. The bottle was a 2-liter plastic soda bottle.

The discovery forced the evacuation of about 100 staff members from the jail until the bomb squad arrived.

Although Chasteen is a transient, “he’s a regular fixture known to authorities,” Shepherd said.

A motive for leaving the bottle there remains unclear, and the incident remains under investigation Shepherd said.

Chasteen is being held on $5,000 bond for the incident, but is also being held without bond on a parole violation. Arraignment on the charge is set for Monday.