Bogus Bomb Threat Calls for School Lockdown

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By Trenton Davis
6:00 p.m. 10/23/06

Shortly after 1 p.m. deputies arrived at the old Florida Highway Patrol training facility to investigate a suspicious package.

"SWAT team members got on scene and were able to quickly identify the object as not being involved in any training and not one of our pieces of equipment. We have since isolated this object, the suspicious package and evacuated the building," said Sgt. Chris Chase of the Leon County Sheriff's Office.

By 1:30 p.m. authorities had a one block radius set up around the building and isolated the area from all vehicle and foot traffic.

Meanwhile, Sabal Palm Elementary School located at the end of Eisenhower Street was placed under a code yellow lockdown. The school was allowed to keep normal operations while security was outside.

"To keep the children away from the area that was perimeter off and then also to have a lot of staff and law enforcement visible in the area to provide direction to direct them away from those areas. Then also the main thing was to communicate everybody was safe and that the school was aware of what was occurring a few blocks away," said John Hunkiar, Director of Safety and Security for Leon County Schools.

Some parents said the news of a possible bomb threat near their children's school was a frightening experience.

"To know my child's inside and no one informed me to let me know anything. I just so happened to see somebody standing out," added Angeliquce Robinson, whose daughter attends Sabal Palm Elementary.

Members of the bomb squad identified, isolated and safely destroyed what they are calling an elaborate hoax isolate. Deputies are trying to find out who put that bogus bomb in the training facility.