Police Say Man Made Plans to Bomb Haverhill Stadium; Set Fire Instead

Police say a Haverhill man wanted in connection with an explosive device investigation which set off a fire early this week at a bathhouse in the Trinity Haverhill Stadium recreation area is due in court after his arrest by local, state and federal authorities early Friday morning. Shrapnel in the bomb suggests an attempt to cause serious injuries.

A Haverhill Police spokesperson said 20-year-old Matthew Madden of Haverhill is facing multiple felony explosive device and arson related charges after he allegedly placed and ignited a homemade bomb loaded with shrapnel Tuesday, on top of a public bathhouse in the stadium recreation area off Lincoln Avenue. Police said the device cause the bathhouse to catch fire. No one was injured.

“We have a hard working police department. The arrest of a suspect within 24 hours of the bombing at Riverside Park was extraordinary,” Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini said. “I want to thank the officers involved in the investigation for their hard work and persistence. Our police department patrols and protects our neighborhoods every day and I am thankful for their commitment to our city.”

Haverhill police, with the assistance of the Massachusetts State Police arson and explosive device unit along with the FBI, conducted a search warrant at Madden’s Haverhill home Wednesday night which yielded evidence of bomb making material.

An investigation is ongoing.