09/12/11 — Bomb threat hits courthouse

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Bomb threat hits courthouse

By Gary Popp
Published in News on September 12, 2011 1:46 PM

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Wayne County Sheriff's Det. Shawn Harris and another officer carry the evidence of the fake bomb found at the Wayne County Courthouse this morning. The device was removed by the SJAFB Explosive Ordnance Disposal team and turned over to the Sheriff's Office.

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Wayne County Sheriff's Deputy Russell Rice blocks Chestnut Street during a bomb scare this morning.

Nearly 110 people were evacuated from the Wayne County Courthouse this morning after a device that appeared to be a bomb was found on the property.

The device, a cardboard box containing two cylinders and wiring on top of cotton material, was located several feet from the entrance doors on the William Street side of the building and was found by a security worker.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal team from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was contacted to extract the device, and by 9:30 a.m., was on the scene preparing to examine it.

Airmen used a remote-controlled machine to approach the device and to attempt to destroy it, Office of Emergency Services Operations manager Joey Sutton said.

After smashing parts of the device with the robot, Sutton said the cylinders appeared to be cans of spray paint.

Then, after further inspection by members of the bomb team, he said the device was confirmed to be harmless and the cylinders to be spray paint.

"This was not a bomb," Sutton said. "That is confirmed."

The pieces were then turned over to the Sheriff's Office for evidence, and will be given to the State Bureau of Investigation for examination.

Wayne County Office of Emergency Services evacuated the courthouse at 7:35 a.m., and a two-block radius was set up around the building by Goldsboro police and Wayne County Sheriff's Office to control traffic.

Sutton said the Sheriff's Office also performed a perimeter search to check for a second explosive device in the area.

Employees were allowed to begin re-entering the courthouse about 10:15 a.m.