A high school freshman in Irving, Texas, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was eager to establish his reputation as an inventor. So he brought in a homemade digital clock to show his engineering teacher. When his English teacher saw it, Ahmed was handcuffed and arrested on charges of bringing a “hoax bomb.”
“He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation,” said James McLellan, a police spokesman. “It could reasonably be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car.”
Which it wasn’t.
Ahmed was suspended for three days, but no charges will be filed.
He’ll miss more school next month to attend Astronomy Night, a celebration of science, at the White House on Oct. 19.
Ahmed likes to tinker. “A box full of circuit boards sits at the foot of Ahmed’s small bed,” reports the Dallas Morning News. His room looks “like the back room at RadioShack.”
He built the clock — a circuit board and power supply wired to a digital display inside a case — in 20 minutes, he says.
He was pulled out of class to be questioned by four police officers.
“They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’” Ahmed said.
“I told them no, I was trying to make a clock.”
“He said, ‘It looks like a movie bomb to me.’”
Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, is an entrepreneur who’s twice run for president in his native Sudan.