Police ID Goshen man wearing explosive vest

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Goshen, Ind. — A middle-of-the night traffic stop took a turn when police discovered that the man behind the wheel was strapped with homemade explosive devices.

Sherman Fuller, 45, was arrested Wednesday with a preliminary charge of unauthorized possession, manufacture or distribution of a destructive device, a level 5 felony.

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The bomb scare began after a Goshen Police officer stopped a truck in the 1600 block of Elkhart Road near Riverside just before 12:30 a.m. after noticing false and fictitious plates.

When the officer approached the truck, he saw that the driver was wearing a vest with several wires coming from it.

Fuller allegedly made comments claiming it may contain an explosive device.

The officer called for backup from the Elkhart Police Bomb Unit.
Eventually, a Goshen police officer convinced Fuller to get out of the vehicle and leave the vest behind. He was taken into custody.

Police cleared the area, and the bomb squad disarmed the device with two controlled explosions.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed that Fuller had two crudely assembled explosive devices strapped to his body.

U.S. 33 between Riverside and Bashor was blocked as a safety precaution but reopened shortly after 5:20 a.m.

By the daylight hours on Wednesday, area businesses and nearby homes expressed their shock about what happened.

“A little crazy that it was this close to home or this close to here in Goshen” said Brooke Trovatore, who works just a few yards down U.S. 33 at Bandino’s.

Across the roadway, in a neighborhood shrouded by a tree line, Darlene Castaneda said her son heard what sounded like a bomb go off sometime after 4:00 a.m.

“There was a car across the street with the doors all open, cops everywhere,” Castaneda explained, “I never thought anything would happen in the Goshen area.”

Investigators exercised a search warrant in the 61,000 block of C.R. 21 Wednesday afternoon. When NewsCenter 16 went to the home, a group leaving said they were unaware of any search warrant or police activity.

One woman said Fuller was just “staying there.”

But neighbors shared a different story. They said police had been staking out the home on C.R. 21 since 1:30 a.m.

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Thomas Ahern, explained that the U.S. Attorney’s Office was contacted in case any federal charges would be filed. But for the time being, Ahern said it remains a local issue.

According to Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis T. Hill, Jr., “no further threat to public safety appears imminent.” He added that there is no reason to believe Fuller intended to harm anyone specifically.

Fuller has an extensive Elkhart County criminal history, with arrests for OWI, criminal confinement, resisting police, domestic battery, battery on police, contempt of court, battery with a weapon, obstruction of justice, and more dating back to 1992.

Fuller is also a registered “sexually violent predator” after a 2002 arrest in Cass County for child molesting.

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