Courthouse bomb threat deemed a hoax

TROY — A Sunday afternoon bomb threat, later deemed to be a hoax, caused the closure of several blocks around the Miami County Courthouse.

Miami County 9-1-1 dispatchers received a call from an unknown person who told dispatchers that one, or more, pipe bombs had been placed around the courthouse.

The caller then told dispatchers, over the course of several phone calls, that he wished to harm several judges, followed by a demand for $5,000, among other threats.

Law enforcement agencies, including the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, Troy Police Department, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol established a perimeter safety zone and contacted the Dayton Bomb Squad in what Sheriff Dave Duchak described as “an abundance of caution,” to insure the incident was, indeed, a hoax.

The bomb squad used a robot to check out several vehicles that had been parked in near the courthouse and followed that with a search by an explosive-sniffing canine unit.

Nothing suspicious was found and the area was re-opened shortly after 7:30 p.m.

“No threats were found, and the scene was cleared. We believe this to be a ‘swatting’ type hoax,” Duchak said in a press release. Swatting is typically defined as a criminal harassment tactic of deceiving an emergency service into sending a police or emergency service response team to another person’s address, or in this case, to a public landmark.

Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputies are continuing to investigate who made the calls.

“Appropriate and serious charges will be filed if the caller is identified,” Duchak said.

Duchak thanked the other law enforcement agencies that provided mutual aid for their assistance.