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The mother of a man accused of making a homemade bomb out of a tennis ball said it was all a set-up.

Neal Grubbs, 20, was arrested after detectives found the explosive device filled with black powder and severals BBs, matching those in a container in Grubbs’ bedroom.

On Monday, detective Aaron Carter was made aware of a tip that was received at the IMPD 911 center. This threat stated that a Neal Grubbs, 20, was in possession of an improvised explosive device in the form of tennis balls that were filled with pellets or other items and that Grubbs was threatening to use the device in a movie theater.

Grubbs’ family and friends said the allegations are all wrong.

“I believe Neal was set up and framed,” said his mother. “They were plastic pellets. I never really thought anything of it until they were telling me that it was a bomb.”

Grubbs told police someone had given him the tennis ball several weeks ago. His mother believes that same man was the one who framed Grubbs after they got into an argument.

“That’s not Neal,” said his best friend. “He’s an amazing person. He would never do anything like this.”

In Grubbs’ bedroom, detectives saw in plain view a tennis ball with a fuse inserted to it. Technicians from the IMPD bomb squad arrived at the residence and secured the exterior. Technicians from the bomb squad entered into the residence and was able to determine the device was in fact a live improvised explosive device (IED).

Grubbs stated he was aware of the “bomb” in his bedroom but it was given to him by another individual several weeks ago. He further stated that he knew it was illegal to have the “bomb” and at no time ever made an attempt to notify the police or get rid of the explosive device.

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