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Update: Little Rock man burns himself allegedly making explosives | News

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Update: Little Rock man burns himself allegedly making explosives


It happened on Ohio Cove - just about a block from an area school. Aaron Lewis is still in serious condition at UAMS.

Police say he was building the bomb when it went off. Officers went to his house to search for more explosives after the hospital called them and while there, they uncovered more alleged illegal activity neighbors had been complaining about for years.

All day Wednesday, Lewis' house sat just as law enforcement officers left it the night before; doors ajar, trash everywhere. Scattered blue gloves in the front yard reveal the search that went late into the night while Lewis was at the hospital.

"He's in very serious condition in the hospital and that's where he'll be for a while. Once he's released, I'm sure charges will be looked at then," said Lt. Terry Hastings with Little Rock police.

The department and two other agencies combed the property and evacuated several neighbors for hours. Officers say they also found a meth lab during the search.

"I just say thank the Lord that this is taken care of," said Diane Mayernick, a lifelong resident of the neighborhood.

"I'm surprised by the bomb but I'm not surprised about the meth lab," Billy Rogers added.

Neighbors say this has been a long time coming.

"We have been suspecting this for about 4 or 5 years now. We've called the police and told them about it but apparently they didn't have enough evidence to do anything about it," said Mayernick.

Hastings says, "Many times when you call in a drug compliant we don't come out in marked police cars and start looking at that. Usually there are undercover investigations that go on."

It's unclear if police had specifically been investigating Lewis. But records show, the 36-year-old has been arrested 8 times since the year 2000.

He was booked on charges ranging from failure to appear in court to a number of misdemeanors. While neighbors aren't shocked by Tuesday's bust, with two schools just blocks away, they wish police had acted a lot sooner.

"This had to happen in order to have it taken care of," said Mayernick.

Little Rock police are taking over the meth lab investigation but the investigation into the bomb is being handled by the ATF.

Little Rock police say Lewis will be booked for operating a meth lab, and other related charges, as soon as he's released from the hospital.