Albany airport evacuated following bomb threat, suspect arrested - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany airport evacuated following bomb threat, suspect arrested

Updated:

December 9, 2007

Albany -- A line of travelers at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport prepare to board their flight en route to Atlanta, but many of these passengers, like Bill Taylor, were faced with an unexpected delay Sunday morning.

"Well we tried to get in and they had the entrances blocked and wouldn't really tell us what was going on, just that they weren't letting anyone into the airport at the time," he said.

That is because the airport was under lock down; evacuated after a bomb threat was phoned in just before 10 Sunday morning.

"Dispatchers received a call about a bomb threat at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport. Then we had officers that responded to the Homerun Foods convenient store on the 1000 block of Oakridge," said Phyllis Banks-Whitley with the Albany Police Department.

Police were able to trace the call back to this pay phone outside of Homerun Foods. A clerk told police she heard a man making a call from the pay phone. That tip lead police to their suspect.

"His name is Charlie James Slaughter. He's 51 years old and is from Albany. He was arrested at the scene," said Banks.

In part to quick actions of the Albany Police, Slaughter was arrested shortly after the call was made. He is seen here being taken away in the back of a patrol car. He remains tonight in the Dougherty County Jail charged with False Public Alarm.

"It's delayed the flight by about an hour. And now I'm going to end up sitting in Atlanta for about 3 hours. It wasn't convenient to say the least," said Taylor.

While travel was disrupted during one of the busiest travel times of the year, a sweep of the area by airport security turned up no explosive devices. But the threat certainly caused many headaches for travelers trying to reach their destinations.

Police say they are familiar with Slaughter and while his motive behind the bomb threat is not clear, his mental health condition might have played a roll in this.

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