IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) — An Iowa City man who allegedly threatened to kill himself and others has been arrested after dropping two firebombs at two different locations on Tuesday.
Nezzy Conway, 23, is charged with assaulting staff with a machete at the GuideLink Center and leaving a device with a fuse there, all after leaving a separate but similar device on the University of Iowa campus.
According to criminal charges, the first device was found in the College of Public Health building on campus, pasted over an electrical outlet with the word “HELP” in soot or ash. The University of Iowa Police Department responded to this incident.
Later Tuesday morning, Conway entered the GuideLink Center and started attacking employees, who told authorities they could secure his machete. When the officers arrived, Conway began attacking them, but was taken to the hospital for an examination.
However, he left a backpack at the GuideLink Center that turned out to be a suspicious container with a substance that can ignite and the same neon-colored tape as the first device. There was also a fuse in the container. The provincial bomb squad was called in to remove the backpack and deemed the area safe.
Police then executed a search warrant at Conway’s home on Dubuque St, closing several downtown streets for several hours. The Sheriff’s Office says police found items in his home that match the explosive materials found at the GuideLink Center.
They also found a propane tank, and according to the indictment, police had received a previous tip that Conway may have made bombs after stealing and altering the tank.
A notebook was also found with a signed statement from Conway stating, “Use incendiary bombs to destroy the electrical box at the courthouse.”
Through the investigation, authorities learned that Conway had threatened his mother and his old teacher that if they didn’t find him a romantic partner within 30 days, he would kill himself.
According to the complaint, Conway said his suicide plan involved hurting other people and using explosives.
Conway is in custody in the Johnson County Jail and charged by the Sheriff’s Office with possession of incendiary or explosive devices and of an unrelated pending arrest warrant for Criminal Mischief.
He is also being charged by the University of Iowa police with terrorism and possession of incendiary or explosive devices.