A patient who brought explosive devices into Mercy hospital faces a Class H felony charge.
By Miles Maguire
The explosive devices that were discovered this month at Mercy hospital were brought into the facility by a patient who said he carried them for protection because, as a felon, he cannot own a gun.
Steel M. Lee was charged Nov. 26 with possession of improvised explosives. In speaking with police, he called them “firecrackers.”
Authorities described the devices as 1-inch tubes packed with “pyrotechnic or flash” powder. One was 4 inches long while the other was 5 to 6 inches long. They each had a wick inserted in the middle.
Lee, 29, told police he never intended to hurt himself or anyone else and that he forgot that he had the devices when he checked himself in for treatment of an infection.
When police arrived at the hospital, Lee “appeared to be very paranoid and was potentially having a mental health crisis,” according to court papers. “He believed that the government was out to get him and that there was a ‘hit’ out for him.”