Bomb threats evacuate courthouse twice - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Bomb threats evacuate courthouse twice

June 16, 2008

Thomasville-- When people showed up for their court dates and employees came in to work, they weren't expecting anything out of the ordinary.  "I thought it would be a normal day then I answered the phone and someone said there was a bomb in the building."  Yugonda Stewart works in the clerks office and took the original threatening call. "It was really scary. My heart was beting really fast. I really couldn't believe it."

Deputies immediately evacuated everyone did a systematic search inside the courthouse.  Investigator Bob Brettel with the Thomas County Sheriff's Office said, "The security system in our courthouse is very good but there is always a possibility so we don't take it for granted that it is possible for something to get in the courthouse."

When they found nothing, they let everyone come back inside. Everyone was barely inside the building when another call came in.  "By the time we got back in there, they said come back out again. That was more scarier then," said JoAnn Martin. 

"I answered the phone and the person said, didn't I tell ya'll that there's a bomb in the building?" said Stewart.  EMS, fire services and additional law enforcement responded and blocked off surrounding streets while deputies conducted another thorough search.  But, Brettel said, "Nothing was found that time either."

With pregnant women and elderly part of the evacuated group, some people seemed more irritated than scared.  "We had to go down the stairs. That was uncalled for with pregnant women and stuff, they should be punished for it and I hope they are."

But no one was taking any chances.  "I'd rather be safe than sorry. I'd rather go up and down than to be blowed up," said Martin.  Investigators say when they catch him, "We're in the process now of determining where that phone call came from," the culprit will face serious consequences.

Investigators say when caught, they'll charge the suspect with making terrorist threats, a felony.

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