Law enforcement officers have arrested a suspect in connection with a bomb threat that caused the Boyle County Courthouse to be evacuated Tuesday morning.
Sheriff Marty Elliott said deputies have arrested Monty Bryant Jr., 46, of Aspen Drive in Danville for his involvement in what turned out to be a false bomb threat called into a 911 dispatcher about 8:10 a.m. Bryant will initially be charged with first degree terroristic threatening.
Police have a second person of interest in the case, Elliott said.
The courthouse was evacuated shortly after the threat, which Elliott said had to be considered credible in part because a government building was the potential target.
Elliott said he located Bryant on a bench near the Subway restaurant across the street from the courthouse about 9 a.m. He and other law enforcement officers questioned Bryant and found enough probably cause to make arrest.
Bryant was scheduled to appear in district court at 9 a.m. Monday on a charge of operating a motor vehicle under the influence and driving on a DUI suspended license.
The courthouse was opened to personnel shortly after 11 a.m. and was scheduled to open to the public at 1 p.m.
A Boyle Fiscal Court meeting set for 10 a.m. was moved to 1 p.m. The district court dockets scheduled for the morning were rescheduled for next Tuesday, Sept. 18.
In a brief conversation with a dispatcher at the 911 Center, the caller, now believed to be Bryant, said an explosive device was programmed to detonate at 10 a.m. Elliott declined to comment on the motive for the call and said he didn’t know whether it was related to Bryant’s scheduled court appearance.
Following the threat, workers spilled out of the courthouse and the surrounding parking lots as police and fire personnel set up a perimeter around the building. Danville Fire Department established the perimeter based on what Elliott said would likely be a small device if one had in fact been planted.
Danville firefighters, Boyle deputies and Danville officers assisted the Kentucky State Police with a manual search of the building. The first team went into the building about 9:45 a.m. and the building was cleared about 11 a.m.
A bomb-sniffing dog unit was on standby in case the search turned up anything suspicious.
Officers conducted a manual search of the building while waiting for a Kentucky State Police bomb squad to arrive.
It is not certain whether the threat was related to the anniversary of the deadliest ever terrorist attacks on American soil Sept. 11, 2001.
“In this day and age, when you get a bomb threat like this to a building like this, you have to treat it like there is one,” Elliott said. “In that way, we see it as a credible threat.”