molotov cocktail
(Photo/SasaStock via Shutterstock)

Molotov Cocktails Near Hiking Trail Lead to Arrest

On May 21, California State Park rangers made a volatile discovery near a trail outside Los Angeles. Soon, evidence at the scene produced an arrest.

Authorities arrested a Los Angeles man thanks to a tip about incendiary devices near a hiking trail. According to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), an unnamed individual alerted a park ranger at the Santa Monica Mountain Recreation Area about the explosives. The ranger then discovered eight Molotov cocktails and some gasoline containers alongside the trail “in a wooded area.”

LAPD officers, including the West Valley Division’s Emergency Services Division and Hazardous Material Section, recovered the items, and the department’s Major Crimes Division took over.

Police said evidence found at the scene led investigators to arrest 34-year-old Maksim Klimenko for possession of destructive device materials.

The case has since arrived at the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office for consideration. Klimenko’s charge constitutes a felony offense under the California Penal Code. If convicted, he could serve up to 4 years in prison.

Molotov cocktails consist of a glass bottle partially filled with flammable liquid, sometimes capped with tar, stuffed at the neck with a rag. In principle, the user lights the rag and throws the device at the target.

molotov cocktails
Molotov Cocktails from the Euromaidan Protests, at a Ukraine museum; (photo/Adam Jones via Wiki Commons)

When contacted, LAPD said it could not divulge details on what led investigators from the Molotov cocktails to Klimenko, nor could it identify a motive.

Police, including Major Crimes, made no further information about the case available as of Thursday.

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Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.