Strange-Looking Car Leads To Explosives Charges

Balloon Filled With Acetylene Bound For Super Bowl Party

A man from Sheridan is facing explosives charges after he accidentally blew up his own car with a gas-filled balloon he was taking to a Super Bowl party.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office found a suspicious-looking car Sunday afternoon behind the old Duggan's gas station in the 4500 block of South Santa Fe Drive frontage road. Passersby had called in to report some type of explosion or car accident.

When a deputy arrived to check it out, he found a white car that showed obvious signs of an explosion. All the windows were blown out, the vehicle doors were bent towards the outside and the roof was pushed about a foot higher than normal.

The deputy traced the license plate to a home in the 3600 block of South Grove Street in Sheridan. Sheridan officers talked to the people inside and a man and a woman admitted that they were in the car.

They explained that they were taking a balloon to a Super Bowl party -- a balloon filled with acetylene, a very explosive gas used in welding -- so they could blow up the balloon while celebrating.

However, on the drive, the balloon rolled across the back seat, possibly causing static electricity, and igniting the gas, causing it to explode.

The couple said a passer-by gave them a ride home.

Deputies called in an ambulance, who took the couple to Swedish Medical Center for possible shrapnel wounds and broken eardrums.

Norman Frey, 46, faces a charge of possession, use, or removal of explosives or incendiary devices. He faces two to six years in prison.