Here’s what not to do to celebrate the Seattle Seahawks next big victory: Duct-tape a bunch of sparklers together and ignite them, setting off explosions that rattle the neighbors’ homes.
Lance Kapsh of Tacoma has learned that lesson the hard way.
Kapsh, 33, pleaded guilty Thursday to three felony counts of unlawful manufacture of an explosive for setting off a string of sparkler bombs in January.
He also pleaded guilty to the gross misdemeanor of attempting to tamper with a witness for getting into a heated discussion with a neighbor who might have reported him.
His punishment: nine months house arrest.
“A pretty painful, expensive lesson in terms of the potential danger that was involved, and I understand everybody’s concern about it,” Judge Kitty-Ann van Doorninck said before handing down the sentence in Pierce County Superior Court.
Kapsh admitted as part of his plea deal that he set off sparkler bombs on Jan. 20, 22 and 25, although police reports indicated the behavior went on for weeks.
The explosions freaked out his neighbors on the city’s East Side and drew the attention of law enforcement, including the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“I was celebrating the successful Seahawks playoff run and got carried away,” Kapsh wrote in a statement submitted to the court. “I’m very sorry for what I did.
“I did not realize the danger in which I placed myself and others, and I didn’t realize how my actions affected my neighbors, who I’ve known all my life and hold no animosity against. “
He didn’t mean to hurt anybody.
Curtis Huff, defense attorney for Lance Kapsh
He apparently also didn’t realize that law enforcement officers might get agitated about someone setting off explosives on a roadway called Pipeline Road, which, according to court records, affords access to a natural gas pipeline.
A SWAT team eventually raided the house where Kapsh lives with his grandparents and “hauled his grandpa down to the station for questioning,” Kapsh’s attorney, Curtis Huff, said in court Thursday.
“I don’t think Lance realized the seriousness of what was happening until well into this case,” Huff said. “Lance understands that now.”
On Thursday, Kapsh issued an apology in court.
“I just wanted to apologize to everybody that was affected, my family, my neighbors, law enforcement and myself for my mistakes,” he said. “That’s about it.”