Police trace bomb threat call to Butler Square payphone

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 30, 2005

Greenville police are continuing to investigate the bomb threat made to the Butler County Courthouse last Friday morning, said police chief Lonzo Ingram.

Ingram said investigators are following leads, but he pleads to the public that if anyone has any information regarding the bomb threat to call police headquarters.

Ingram said the bomb threat was made from a payphone at Butler Square.

"Once the call came in, we were able to trace it right away," he said.

Investigators would not say if it was a man or a woman who made the call at 10:35 a.m. Mattie Gomillion, who worked in the second-floor circuit clerk's office answered the call from the person who told her that a bomb inside the courthouse would go off at 2 p.m. that day.

Greenville police and the Butler County Sheriff's Department responded to the call and had the courthouse evacuated and redirected traffic around the courthouse, Ingram said.

Parking lots and buildings within a one-block radius around the courthouse were evacuated.

Ingram said in his 20 years with Greenville police, he can't remember a bomb threat made to the courthouse.

"This was not routine, and that's why we did and are taking it so serious," Ingram said.

While the building was being evacuated, investigators with the FBI were called in as well as the bomb squad from the Montgomery Police Department.

The bomb squad made a complete sweep in and around the courthouse, and it was considered clear around 4 p.m.

Under the Homeland Security Act, a person charged with making a bomb threat would face felony charges.

If you have any information regarding the bomb threat, call 1-800-473-8477.