How a Homemade Clock Got This Texas Teen Handcuffed and Arrested

Student arrested for homemade clock: “It was the first time I brought an invention to school to show a teacher.”

By Emily DonahueSeptember 16, 2015 10:47 am| ,

Update: The Mohamed family held a press conference this evening at their home. Watch the video via PBS NewsHour below.

Original post: Ahmed Mohamed is a new ninth grader at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas.

A member of the robotics club, he enjoys inventing and likes to tinker with electronics. Ahmed built a clock at home  – wires, a circuit board and display, in a case – then took it to school to show his teachers.

His English teacher said the clock looked “like a bomb,” after the alarm went off in the middle of class. Before the end of the day, Ahmed was questioned by police, taken off campus in handcuffs, and processed at a juvenile detention facility for creating a “hoax bomb.”

The story is now trending on social media nationwide.

The Dallas Morning News broke Ahmed’s story. Reporter Avi Selk talked to the Standard about how the arrest has affected the community.

“He does this kind of stuff all the time – his room is literally full of little gizmos he’s wired together,” Selk says, who spent time with the family the day after his arrest.

Police told Selk that the student was a little “surly” during questioning but they said he was clear on what he had made: a clock.

“They were apparently unhappy that he wouldn’t elaborate on anything beyond that but I’m not entirely sure on what the boy could have elaborated on,” Selk says. “It was a clock, by all accounts.”

Listen to the rest of our interview in the audio player above. Below, a video produced for the Dallas Morning News.