Man allegedly blows up strangers’ car over drive-thru honking

What authorities describe as a “relatively minor” and “benign” incident at an Australian McDonald’s apparently led to an explosion. A man has been taken into police custody after an alleged period of harassment eventually led him to plant a bomb in a family’s car.

That news comes courtesy of The Guardian, reporting on the charges against 33-year-old Ryan Sharp. On February 22, Sharp’s partner, a 31-year-old woman, was in the drive-thru of a 24-hour McDonald’s when another car honked at her. (Sharp was not present.) That incident allegedly led to what the Guardian calls “a prolonged campaign of stalking and harassment,” which reached its peak when Sharp detonated an explosive device authorities describe as “sophisticated.” No one was in the car at the time, and no injuries were reported.

“The work done by this male to identify where the victim lived was quite ingenious and indicated a specific intent,” counter-terrorism and special tactics command’s Det Supt Michael McLean said on Tuesday.

“He located the victims’ home, [and] we will allege, placed the device under the car where it ultimately exploded sometime later.”

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Sharp was arrested at a gas station this week; afterward, police discovered a pipe bomb and drone in his possession. He has been charged with “two counts of using a carriage service to threaten serious harm, using a carriage service to threaten to kill, destroying or damaging property, placing an explosive on a vehicle with the intent to cause harm, threatening to cause injury to a person for being a witness and two counts of possessing or use of prohibited weapon without permit.”

His partner was also arrested and charged with being an accessory after the fact as well as stalking or intimidating.

This is the latest instance of what seem like totally normal interactions at drive-thrus and fast-food places going bonkers, a category that includes these assholes who yelled racial slurs at a woman before driving her out of her car and driving it into a telephone pole; this guy and his initiative; this coupon-lover; this creative thinker; and this instance of packet-related rage. Just be cool out there, people. Take a deep breath.

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Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.