An established Brooklyn artist, craftsman, and TV personality was arrested Wednesday after police found multiple weapons and raw materials that could be used to create a suitcase bomb inside his Gowanus home. Christopher Hackett, 44, faces third-degree criminal weapons possession charges after a suitcase packed with pipes, colored wire, and ammonium phosphate was discovered in his loft, police said.
A police spokesperson confirmed officers had been investigating burglaries near Hackett's loft on Butler Street and had obtained a search warrant for Hackett's home when they confiscated the suitcase, along with an air rifle and two .22 caliber Derringer guns. According to ABC, he told officers he was trying to make a bomb "to see how easy it would be to walk around with one," however the Brooklyn District Attorney's office chose not to prosecute Hackett for the half-built bomb because he did not possess all the materials required to make it operational.
Hackett is the director of Madagascar Institute, a subversive Brooklyn art collective known for building strange contraptions and championing an ethos of DIY construction (they're a perennial fixture at Bike Kill). Hackett has also appeared on television programs including the Science Channel's Stuck With Hackett and Mythbusters: The Search.
According to the Post, Hackett was held on $7,500 bail.
A 2012 New York Times photo essay on Hackett offers a glimpse in to his workshop. On his LinkedIn page, Hackett professes to occasionally teach as an adjunct professor at NYU. He also contributes to Popular Science also the author of The Big Book of Maker Skills.