Published September 03, 2003
ERIE, Pa. – A second weapon has been found in the investigation of the bizarre death of a pizza deliveryman.
FBI spokesman Bill Crowley confirmed Wednesday that another weapon was found in connection with the bank robbery and described it as "unique," but refused to give details.
Ken McCabe, the agent in charge of the FBI's Pittsburgh office, had said in an interview with a morning news program that the second weapon was "a sort of a gun."
Agents are also focused on the collar-like bomb that was locked around his neck, authorities said at a press conference Tuesday.
The triple-banded metal collar is "unique and sophisticated," FBI Special Agent Bob Rudge said, adding that it appears to have been specifically designed for this incident and features four locks and a dial combination.
But it remains a mystery how the collar became locked around the neck of Brian Douglas Wells (search), 46, who answered a delivery call Thursday to a mysterious address in a remote area and ended up about an hour later at a bank wearing a bomb.
FBI agents said this type of collar bomb has not been seen before in the United States.
“This occurred one other time down in Bogota, Colombia, a number of years ago, and the victim and the two bomb technicians that were trying to dismantle the bomb were killed when the bomb went off,” McCabe told Fox News on Tuesday. “That type of device is the most dangerous device for a bomb technician to try to render safe because they have to actually go in with their hands and work on that bomb.”
The FBI (search) has asked anyone who has information about the incident to call 1-866-219-2008.
“We are literally working around the clock on this case and are covering leads on an hourly basis," Rudge said. "We will go forward until we are successful and resolute."
FBI experts in Quantico, Va., are reconstructing the bomb, which hung from the lock over Wells' chest, and analyzing an extensive, multipage note that was used by the robber, FBI Agent Bob Rudge said. One part of the note was for bank employees, demanding cash during the robbery, and the other part was instructions for the robber, officials said.
An autopsy was conducted Monday on Wells' co-worker Robert Pinetti, 43, who called paramedics Sunday morning and said he wasn’t feeling well but then refused treatment. Pinetti was later found dead in his parents’ home, where he lived.
Authorities said Tuesday that Pinetti had a history of substance abuse problems and that a drug overdose had not been ruled out. Pinetti was being tested for methadone and Valium-like drugs which may have caused his death.
“We really don’t have any information that would conclusively link the two deaths together,” Rudge said, adding that police were not discounting any possibilities.
Ticking Time Bomb
As the time bomb ticked, Wells tried in vain to convince police, who were waiting for the bomb squad to arrive, that he was forced into the crime. He died when the explosives detonated.
Erie's WJET-TV captured audio and video from Wells as he sat handcuffed in front of a state police cruiser.
"Why is nobody trying to come get this thing off me?" he asked.
The tape shows Wells telling authorities someone had started a timer on his bomb under his T-shirt, and that there was little time left.
"It's going to go off," Wells said. "I'm not lying."
A state police spokesman confirmed Friday night that Wells had made a number of statements, including that he had been forced to rob the bank.
Wells' boss and one of the owners of Mama Mia's Pizza-Ria (search) outside Erie, who asked that his name not be published, said Saturday he took a call Thursday for a delivery but didn't recognize the address given.
He put Wells on the phone to get directions. Wells left to make the delivery and never returned, the pizzeria owner said.
The address of the delivery was a rural spot along a main drag that runs south of the city, where a gravel road leads to a television transmission tower.
According to police, Wells entered the PNC Bank (search) branch outside Erie on Thursday afternoon and produced an "extensive note" demanding money and said he had a bomb.
Wells left with an undisclosed amount of money and got into his car. Police surrounded him a short time later in a nearby parking lot, pulled him out of his car and handcuffed him, authorities said.
The bomb exploded about 40 minutes after he entered the bank.
No one else was hurt in Thursday's explosion, which happened in front of law-enforcement officers as they waited for a bomb squad (search) to arrive.
“I've seen many, many bank robbers,” Bernie Grimm, a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, told Fox News. “I've seen them go in with toy guns. I've seen them go in and say that they've had bombs strapped to them, and -- but to have a live bomb, this is really unusual.”
Authorities obtained a search warrant and took evidence from Wells' home, but a state police spokesman refused to say what was taken.
Linda Payne, who owns the property where Wells lived, described him as a private, trustworthy person who liked music and cared for three cats. He was a friend of Payne's husband, who also had been a pizza deliveryman, she said.
"I couldn't believe that he would rob a bank. He doesn't care that much about money," Payne said. "I think somebody lured him into that place delivering a pizza, dropped a bomb on him and sent him into the bank ... He would not have decided to do that on his own."
The Associated Press and Fox News' Amy C. Sims contributed to this report.