UPDATE: Tyler Armstrong pleaded guilty to aiding, inducing or causing dealing in meth on Feb. 13, 2017. His sentencing is set for April 6.
MUNCIE, Ind. (March 18, 2015) – A backpack meth lab found in the bathroom of a Muncie Walmart last week is still getting national attention. The case went viral over the weekend.
Indiana State Police arrested 25-year-old Tyler Armstrong on Monday. Investigators said he attempted to resist officers but was subdued and arrested. Armstrong is charged with manufacturing meth, dumping controlled substance waste and criminal recklessness.
For police, it’s become a chance to remind all of us what a mobile meth lab could look like.
The meth lab found in the bathroom of the Muncie Wal-Mart off E. 29th St. created a potentially dangerous situation, according to investigators. Corrosive acid ate through the bottom of the backpack. Some of it even wound up in the bathroom.
“A lot of these meth labs that we do come across are mobile and left outside somewhere to do their thing, and the cookers come back to get them,” said Sgt. Rich Myers with Indiana State Police.
The bathroom meth lab is a heads up for all of us, Myers said, especially with the warmer months coming. That’s because bottles used in shake and bake cooking often end up thrown on the side of a road. It’s a danger especially for children, parents said.
“You don’t think to tell your kids don’t pick up bottles or things like that. They just might pick it up and throw it away. You don’t know what’s going to be in there,” said Motie Finney, a parent.
In fact, Indiana State Police arrested 42-year-old Janet Combs in northern Indiana over the weekend. Investigators said she had her two boys in a truck along with a one pot meth lab cooking in the truck’s bed.
“There’s no directions. These cooks are winging it. Whatever they come up with, you don’t really know. That’s why it’s dangerous to be around those chemicals that could go off while you’re there,” said Myers.
Police said signs of a mobile meth lab include items like gas cans, pop bottles, and of course, pseudoephedrine. They also said to keep an eye out for bags left unattended.
That’s what a Walmart worker found and reported on Thursday night.
“It’s something that needs to be cleaned up by professional people,” said Myers.
A Walmart spokesperson told FOX59 the restroom in question remains blocked off as they’re waiting for lab tests to come back, saying the area is safe.
Myers said bottom line if you see something suspicious, call your local law enforcement. You can report suspected meth labs to ISP’s Meth Suppression Unit by clicking here.