Courthouse bomb threats
By Howell Dennis
CROWLEY – Employees at the Acadia Parish Courthouses were the recipients of a three day weekend Monday - only not the way they would have wished.
Two bomb threats were called in to the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office, the first of which was in the morning before courts were scheduled to begin their proceedings.
“It seems somebody didn’t want to go to court today,” said an officer at the scene.
An explosive sniffing dog arrived at approximately 9:15 a.m. to begin the tedious process of going floor to floor and room to room to ensure the safety of the building.
“We take each of these threats very seriously,” said Crowley Chief of Police K.P. Gibson. “It’s frustrating but we must ensure the safety of those who work or are visitors to these buildings.”
Parish courthouse employees were sent home Monday morning and told to return at 12:30 p.m. Their return didn’t last long as a second bomb threat was called in just after 1 p.m. and the building was evacuated again. An obviously frustrated group of employees gathered for the second time of the day across the street so that parish and city authorities could go back to work.
“I think the guy knew that we were supposed to come back into work at 12:30,” said one employee who wished to remain anonymous. “How else would they know when to call back?”
The unknown person who made the calls was caught on video tape and authorities seemed quite confident that they would arrest the culprit.
“We know that the first phone call came in from the Winn-Dixie on N. Parkerson and the second came from a pay phone at the Superfoods Grocery store on 2nd St.,” said Acadia Sheriff’s spokesperson Maxine Trahan. “We have some video evidence we are examining and we have already begun to interview some suspects. We believe that it was the same person who made both calls.”
“I don’t know if this was a guy that was trying to avoid going to court but any trouble he was in is going to be doubled by the time we catch him,” said another officer at the scene.
Judge Christian Earles said after the morning threat that if it were someone who was trying to avoid a court date it wouldn’t be too hard to narrow down the list of suspects.
“We do keep track of people’s court dates so we know who was due to come in today,” he said.
It didn’t take long after the second threat before the courthouse was closed for the day at approximately 2:15 p.m.