Suspects in Lakebottom razor blade case also targets in arson investigation

The two suspects accused of taping razor blades to playground equipment at Lakebottom Park also are the target of an arson investigation, authorities said Wednesday.

Derek Kyle Fullum, 21, of Phenix City and Gary Levon Bryan, 18, of Columbus, each face a charge of first-degree criminal damage to property in connection to the May 11 discovery of razor blades taped to playground equipment. They appeared before Columbus Recorder’s Court Judge Mary Buckner on Wednesday, waived their preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty. Buckner gave each a $10,000 bond.

Police arrested the men Monday night after an informant’s tip. In a Tuesday press conference, Police Chief Ricky Boren said the men admitted to taping the nine razor blades, saying they called it a “party prank.”

On Wednesday, Fire Marshal Thomas Streeter confirmed that his office has pending charges of first-degree arson, third-degree arson and conspiracy to commit arson for a house fire and dumpster fire that happened around the same time as the razor incident. He added that the charges could be formally filed against the men as early as Wednesday morning.

While the men waived their hearing, Buckner asked Detective Jesse Knight for information in order for her to decide on a bond. Knight told the judge how a small child spotted a razor on the playground, leading to Columbus Police Officer Tricia Wolfley to search the playground and find more blades.