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Man throws smoke bomb at Mar-a-Lago over stimulus check

AP Photo_John Raoux (86)
Palm Beach police

A Palm Beach County man has been arrested after he allegedly threw a smoke bomb outside of Mar-a-Lago.

The incident was reported on Sunday afternoon.

Palm Beach police say they were called to South Ocean Boulevard by Secret Service, after members discovered smoke in the roadway outside of the former president’s home.  When authorities arrived, they found a 7-inch 5- minute smoke bomb in the roadway.

Authorities say the incident caused two cars to collide as they attempted to avoid the device.

The bomb squad was dispatched to the area to check for any more devices, however, they did not find any.

Investigators were eventually able to identify the suspect as 38-year-old Paul Brantly Rawls after checking surveillance in the area.

Officials say Rawls was captured driving up to the area and then dropping the smoke bomb out of his car window before driving away.

Eventually authorities called Rawls, who immediately confessed to understanding why they were calling.

Rawls told authorities that he is a former combat veteran and an Airborne Ranger who has been struggling to get by since been discharged. He told officers that he was angry with the former administration because his stimulus money had not arrived yet.

When authorities went to Rawls home, they checked his car and found nine smoke bombs, four flares, four 5 minute smoke devices, a handheld expandable hook, rope, and a black glove.

Authorities also discovered that Rawls made several trips from West Palm Beach to the area beginning on March 1st, before finally dropping the smoke bomb.

He has since been arrested and is currently being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on a $21,000 bond.