A Las Vegas woman said she hopes her son, accused of manufacturing pipe bombs, can get mental health treatment in jail.
“I pray to God that that is the case,” Pamela Spitler told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday in an interview at her home.
“This whole situation upsets me,” Pamela Spitler said. “He needs help. He definitely needs help.”
The woman said she moved two live pipe bombs from her apartment to a storage unit Friday without knowing what they were.
Police allege that Daniel Spitler, 39, of Las Vegas, manufactured the devices, prompting his arrest on two counts of felony possessing, manufacturing or disposing of an explosive device.
The suspect was in Las Vegas Justice Court on Tuesday, where a public defender was appointed to represent him.
“I don’t have money to hire my own attorney,” Daniel Spitler told a judge.
According to a police report and an interview with his mother, the events leading to Daniel Spitler’s arrest started Thursday with a domestic disturbance at the family’s apartment in the 4600 block of West Oakey Boulevard. The disturbance continued into the next morning, prompting a call to police by his loved ones.
His sister, Patricia, told police she was aware that her brother was in possession of some devices that looked like pipe bombs.
However, when the family sought to track down the devices, Pamela Spitler realized she had unwittingly moved a bag containing the bombs to her U-Haul storage unit in the 1900 block of Decatur Boulevard.
Police went to the storage unit, found the devices and evacuated the business.
An arrest report for Daniel Spitler said tests showed that the devices contained shrapnel and flammable materials.
“The devices were about 6 inches in length and had green fuses attached to them,” an officer wrote in the report.
Pamela Spitler said she thought the bag held Tupperware when she moved it to the storage unit.
A state police dog trained to detect explosives alerted officers to the items. The Las Vegas Fire Department used a robotic device to remove the devices from a crate, then rendered them safe.
Pamela Spitler said she and her daughter were aware of the devices in their apartment but initially thought they were harmless.
When Patricia Spitler examined them Thursday, she picked them up and heard what sounded like shrapnel moving around inside them, according to her mother.
Police later told Pamela Spitler the family was lucky the devices didn’t blow up.
The woman said her son is bipolar and has struggled with mental health issues for much of his life. She said her son, as a toddler, also fell and hit his head in a store. She believes the accident damaged him. Daniel Spitler also suffers from severe phobias, his mother said.
“He doesn’t want anyone to approach him while he’s eating or drinking,” she said. “He’s afraid spit might come out of their mouths and get in his drink or in his food.”
Despite this, she said, her son resists mental health treatment.
“He is totally against doctors, totally against pharmaceutical drugs,” Pamela Spitler said.