Explosive prank lands Ensworth students in trouble with police

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 4:44pm

What started as a prank landed seven Ensworth students in handcuffs for what police said could have hurt someone.

After responding to a shots fired call at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday at 2107 Golf Club Lane in Green Hills, West Precinct Flex Officer Forrest Drake stopped a pickup truck with two of the students in the cab and five in the bed of the truck.

After questioning, police spokesman Don Aaron said the students admitted to setting off 11 homemade “chemical reaction devices” in the yard of the home where a fellow student lived. The students mixed household chemicals and aluminum foil in plastic bottles, a combination that can cause the bottles to expand and explode.

The explosions didn’t cause any damage, and Aaron said there was no indication of malicious criminal intent.

“While we refer to it as pranking a classmate, it rises to a much different level when you talk about chemical reaction devices,” Aaron said. “These bottles once they’re loaded up are very dangerous. The bottle bursts and anyone around it could be harmed.”

The seven students were charged with possession of explosive components and violation of curfew.

Filed under: City News

23 Comments on this post:

By: wayitis on 7/21/10 at 3:57

Did Mommy and Daddy bail them out or did they have to spend the night in jail?

By: iluvnashville on 7/21/10 at 5:05

Isn't it illegal to ride in the back of a pick up truck?

By: sharko20 on 7/21/10 at 7:04

It was a dangerous stunt, but I bet a public school student wouldn't know how to produce an explosive. So at least these kids are studying chemistry, physics and calculus in school. Good job Ensworth!

By: sharko20 on 7/21/10 at 7:06

Oh, I should add these kids are potential future engineers!

By: dogmrb on 7/21/10 at 7:46

@shark. Loser.

By: modern4life on 7/21/10 at 9:16

Sounds like 7 private school kids are about to get a taste of public school soon. Seven kids on the Ensworth wait-list are probably very happy right now.

By: richgoose on 7/22/10 at 5:36

Can you imagine a seven kids from public school (Martin Luther King & Hume Fogg excluded) even understanding this chemistry project much less being able to manufacture such a device.

Ensworth should be commended for their academic excellence. All 7 boys will be back at Ensworth come September.

Now if this were boys from MBA they would probably have to transfer to Ensworth.

By: VandyJD11 on 7/22/10 at 7:39

Typical Ensworth punks

By: sharko20 on 7/22/10 at 9:20

No, the MBA boys would have learned how to make their explosives in the eighth grade. That is when they take IPS, Intro to Physical Science. MBA has a teacher with a PH.D in science that teaches the class.

By: rbull on 7/22/10 at 9:23

The formula for making such devise was all over the Internet just about a month ago and I told myself some kids will get this and try it out. This article was written in regards to the devices being used to blow up mailboxes. This is not just for Ensworth school kids, but any school kids could have if they saw it on the Internet.

By: judyboodo@yahoo.com on 7/22/10 at 9:27

On a personal note, I grew up in that house! Of course back then we only had to worry about unexploded ordinance from the battle of Nashville.

By: dangerlover on 7/22/10 at 11:15

We used to make these in high school...and it doesn't take an in depth level of understanding of chemistry to mix aluminum and toilet bowl cleaner, or to read how to do it on the internet. (Sno-bowl was best but they took it off the market for that reason.)

By: budlight on 7/22/10 at 12:46

And what was the racial mix of the students vs. the student who's house they targeted?

This is not a prank; it's a crime; they need to be duly punished. And kicked out of school.

By: losbravos on 7/22/10 at 1:04

Wow, I always knew that Ensworth was full of hooligans! That school is just accepting more and more punks. Sad to see the school go down the drain.

-roll red

By: rumble1 on 7/23/10 at 9:30

Losbravos, what a loser you are. I could but I won't list all of the much more serious offenses committed by MBA students in the last year. Let's face it, the MBA community is extremely disturbed by the success of Ensworth academically and athletically. When will you learn it doesn't make you stronger by trying to tear someone else down.

This was a teenage prank purely and simply. In another day and time it would have been handled by the parents and not by wasting the community resources and making such a big deal out of it. These were all good kids that screwed up and will be punished.

Oh, and budlight, yes there was a racial mix because at Ensworth kids of different backgrounds and colors all socialize, but race had nothing to do with the prank. What a neanderthal you are. This is 2010 not 1965.

By: losbravos on 7/23/10 at 4:19

Please, go ahead and say your list of offenses committed by MBA students that are much more serious than using EXPLOSIVES! A teenage prank is rolling someone's house with toilet paper, not using chemicals to make explosives and setting them off in a lawn. And I can promise you that MBA is in no way disturbed by the "success of Ensworth." MBA does and will always continue to have more National Merit Scholars than EHS, as well as outperforming the school in sports, which is evidenced by the 4 State Championships this past year.

-roll red

By: rumble1 on 7/26/10 at 9:31


First of all MBA does not have more National Merit Scholars than Ensworth and it is not outperforming them in sports. You need to get your facts straight!

No, I will not list all the offensives committed by MBA students as they are too numerous to list but, lets see...... forgery, drug dealing, destruction of personal property, hate crimes..... and these are just the ones they were convicted of in the past year. These Ensworth boys made some "cherry bombs" which is what they used to be called. No one was injured and they have only been charged with being out past curfew. The article even says there was no malicious intent. This incident was way overblown by the media. The worst thing about it was all the money, resources and time wasted by Metro.

Get a life!

By: DavidSchwetty on 7/26/10 at 2:11

I have no dog in this fight but the last few posts peaked my interest enough to do 10 minutes of web research. The facts seem to support LosBravos on the merit schoalrs and athletics. Rumble appears right in the fact that this was nothing more than a harmless prank. Not so sure about Rumble's accusation of offenses at MBA. Multiple searches came up empty. Those are pretty serious offensives to post online without any sort of link/documentation whatsoever.

To clarify:

National Merti Semi Finalists:
EHS-4 (of which 2 male)

National Merit Finalists:
EHS-4 (of which 2 male)

National Merit Winners"
EHS-1 (male winner)

2009-2010 Boys State Championships

By: rumble1 on 7/26/10 at 4:11

Still working on the Merit Scholar numbers but will post. In the meantime, here is a link to College Acceptances for Ensworth Class of 2010. Might want to campare it to MBA http://www.ensworth.com/podium/default.aspx?t=127014.

Offenses committed by juveniles are often not reported on or attributed to particular school. Clearly someone was trying to disparage EHS in this instance.

If you judge sports peformance solely on the basis of "boys state championships" I guess you win that point. However, I believe success is based on much more than "boys state championships". Ensworth is a co-ed school with a much smaller enrollement grades 9-12 and could have chosen to compete in D2 A instead of AA. If it competed within the level it's enrollement qualifies it for, I think most knowledable people would agree it would win many more than 4 state championships in a year. However, I suspect that in most years going forward it will eclipse MBA even in AA.

By: DavidSchwetty on 7/27/10 at 12:22

So I looked at the MBA class of 2010 college placement and I'm not quite sure of the point you're trying to me. To me, it looks like a pretty strong list. Here's a quick summary of the placements:

Brown - 2
Dartmouth - 2
Emory - 1
Furman - 3
NYU - 2
Northwestern - 1
Gettysburg - 1
Middlebury - 1
Southern Cal - 2
Dickinson - 1
GA Tech - 1
Princeton - 1
Sewanee - 4
Stanford - 1
UNC - 1
Tulane - 1
Morehouse - 2
Notre Dame - 3
University of Oxford (England) - 2
Penn - 1
UVA - 5
Vandy - 5
Wake Forest - 1
W & L - 1
Washington University - 2
Yale - 1

Other popular schools are UGA (2), UT (14), SMU (4), Baylor (2), College of Charleston (3), Rhodes (4), TCU (3), Alabama (2), and Ole Miss (3).

One thing from the link you provided that quickly caught my eye is the fact that the list provided by EHS is a list of where students were accepted as compared to the list provided by MBA of where students are matriculating. Why would EHS only provide a list of where students were accpeted? Not saying that it is necessarily the case here, but this is often a tactic used by school's not wanting attention drawn to their college placement. It is very easy to let a handful of top performers apply to every ivy league school and then pass that off as representative of where the student body as a whole is matriculating. Why not just publish a list of where graduates are going? Also, while doing my quick research, I noticed that in the most recent Nashville Business Journal, EHS did not provide median SAT or ACT scores, why would they not provide these if they have nothing to hide?

The reason I only included boys state championships is quite simple, MBA is an all boys school and the 2 sports anyone really cares about are football and boys basketball. It's one thing to inlcude the girls as part of the scholarship count because the population of samples is not separated by gender. But to include girls sports almost doubles the relevant number of opportunities to win a championship, for example 2 bball teams, 2 swim teams, 2 soccer teams, etc. Just for fun, even if you include the ladies, I still count 4 to 1 titles with MBA having the advantage.

EHS is at an obvious disadvantage with the smaller class sizes. But that sounds kind of like sour grapes to elect to play up and then use class size as a crutch when things don't go quite as well as anticipated. BA seemed to have no problem winning at 4A & 5A levels with similar enrollments figures.

By: NashvilleTenn on 8/3/10 at 4:12


Great response.

Rumble1, unfortunately, gives us the typical Ensworth responses - uninformed, emotional, whining. Throwing something out there to see if it will stick. Sadly, he or she is likely an Ensworth parent.

By: DavidSchwetty on 8/4/10 at 8:51

Thirty seconds on Google and it turns out Mr. Rumble just graduated from EHS (and has a nice little blog).


By: DavidSchwetty on 8/4/10 at 8:52

Check that, apparently a senior at EHS (with a nice little blog).