A man with an ‘improvised’ bomb on a boat planned to take it to airport, Florida police say

Howard Cohen
·2 min read

Police in Massachusetts called Vero Beach police to tell them they had taken a call from a woman who told them her brother sent her a video from Florida that had him saying he had made a bomb and was going to “take it to the airport.”

According to an arrest report, Vero Beach police viewed the video that Marble Beach police provided. In the clip, the Florida police saw Michael Richard Ferris, 39, say that a man in his head he named as “’Rudy’ has been ‘brainwashing him through LSD and psychotherapy.’”

Vero Beach police arrested Ferris on Sunday, April 18, on his 30-foot sailboat, which was anchored near Vero Beach Municipal Marina in the Indian River Lagoon, west of the Riverside Gardens Condo Association.

As officers escorted Ferris off his boat, they saw what they described as a “possible improvised explosive device” in Ferris’ gray backpack inside the cabin, according to the arrest affidavit.

The St. Lucie County Bomb Squad was notified and X-rayed the device. According to the arrest report, the bomb squad concurred it was “possibly a live improved explosive device” and that it contained two butane canisters as “a possible fuel source,” a one gallon water bottle, a flare gun, electrical wires, a capacitor they said could be a “possible ignition device,” and a circuit board.

Ferris told police that the “dummy bomb and video he made were ‘a cry for help,’ the report said. He also said he suffered from mental illness, and that “Rudy” had been “psychically controlling him and that he is no longer in control of his vessel and that he does not know who is controlling him half the time,” the report said.

Ferris was booked into the Indian River County Jail Sunday without bail on a felony charge of “making, possessing, throwing, projecting, placing or discharging any destructive device or attempt to do so.”

Ferris did not name a particular airport, according to the report.