Public Safety

Police: Man who threatened motorist with a gun leads police to explosives at his home

SWISHER — Police complaints show that Lance E. Degen allegedly threatened a motorist with a handgun before officers ultimately found explosive devices in his Swisher home.

According to police complaints, a motorist was behind a car being driven by Degen, 24, near the North Liberty intersection of Highway 965 and Scales Bend Road at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday. After Degen’s car did not move during a green light, the motorist honked his horn and started to drive around Degen’s vehicle.

At that point Degen accelerated and struck the victim’s vehicle with his car’s side mirror. He then got out of his car brandishing a black handgun. Degen pointed the gun at the victim, yelled profanities and threatened to “blow him away,” police said.

The victim and a witness identified Degen through a photograph, according to police.

Officers with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office later attempted to contact Degen at his Swisher residence on the 300 block of Division St. SW.

With a search warrant, police found three homemade explosive devices, which were neutralized by the Johnson County Metro Bomb Team.

Sgt. Brad Kunkel, with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, said additional information on the explosive devices will not be available until the components and materials are fully investigated.

Degen was not at his home when the explosives were found and police arrested him there Sunday. He faces aggravated misdemeanor charges of possession of an incendiary or explosive device, assault while displaying a dangerous weapon and carrying weapons.

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Degen was being held Monday in the Johnson County Jail on a $6,000 bond. His preliminary hearing has been scheduled for June 28, according to court records.

The North Liberty Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms also assisted with the incident.

l Comments: (319) 398-8309; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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