Second coast man in custody in meth blast that injured child

Published 5:40 pm Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Authorities have arrested a second suspect in connection with a methamphetamine chemical explosion earlier this month that left a 9-year-old boy with critical burns.

Police said an officer spotted Joseph Terry Shimp, 29, in Gautier early Sunday morning as he climbed into a black Mitsubishi Eclipse Spider at a laundromat. The vehicle matched the description issued by the Narcotics Task Force of Jackson County.

After checking the vehicle’s tags with the police department, the officer pulled over the vehicle at a gas station.

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When arrested, Shimp was out on bonds for felony possession of methamphetamine in 2005, and felony possession of marijuana and possession of precursor chemicals with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine in 2006.

The child, Isaiah Polk, suffered burns to his face and an eye was severely injured in the July 11 blast.

James Edward McCall, 29, was arrested by Pascagoula police Friday afternoon in the investigation.

Police said an officer spotted McCall, 29, driving away from Wal-Mart, pulled him over and arrested him.

Officers said McCall had several outstanding warrants and was out on bond awaiting trial after a Jan. 25 arrest on charges of manufacturing meth. Police charged McCall with conspiracy to manufacture meth Friday, and he could face more charges, according to the Narcotics Task Force of Jackson County.

Police said Polk and his 6-year-old cousin found a backpack containing chemicals from a meth lab dumped in the woods behind their FEMA trailer in Pascagoula. Officers said that as Polk took the bag from his cousin and tried to put it down, it exploded and gave him second-degree burns on his face and injured his cornea. He was to undergo a cornea transplant as a result of the blast.