The man was taken into custody arount 2:40 a.m. on Tuesday by Murfreesboro police. He was traveling on Interstate 24 with what officers believed was an explosive device. His name is Fermin Viveros Leon, and police were alerted to his presence after he allegedly assaulted a woman.
Police were called to a Regal Inn over a domestic disturbance at the time. A woman told them she had been assaulted by Leon, and that he had fled the scene in a Ford pickup truck. She warned the officers that he might have weapons with him, including an explosive device. The police caught up with Leon on the westbound ramp of I-24, where they conducted a routine traffic stop.
Police searched Leon's car, finding an item that seemed like it could be an explosive. They arrested him on charges of aggravated domestic assault and possession of explosive components, as well as driving without a license. They took him to the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department, where he was held on a $50,000 bond.
So far, it is still unclear whether Leon has an attorney. Lisa Marchesoni, a spokesperson for the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, told reporters that Leon comes from Mexico. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reportedly had a hold placed on him already, so it is unclear how he will be processed through the legal system. There is also no further information on the woman he allegedly attacked, nor what their relationship to each other is.
Leon's arrest comes at a sensitive time for the nation, as many are still on high alert for explosive threats. Last week, pipe bombs were mailed to no less than 12 public figures, all of them people that President Donald Trump has been at odds with this year. None of the homemade explosives detonated.
Police arrested 56-year-old Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr., a Florida man who is the prime suspect in the bombing case. Sayoc has reportedly been charged with five federal crimes so far, and could face as much as 58 years in prison.