Fourth bomb threat disrupts IOW courthouse

Published 9:18 am Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ISLE OF WIGHT—For the fourth time in as many weeks, a bomb threat forced the evacuation of the Isle of Wight County Courthouse complex Monday.

County spokesman Don Robertson said the bomb threat call came in just before 8:30 a.m.

“We cleared everybody to go back in a little bit after 10,” Robertson said.

Like the three previous bomb threats, Monday’s call is thought to have originated in the courts building, Robertson said.

Kim’s Courthouse Café across the street from the courthouse complex wasn’t open Monday, but owner Kim Babb said county employees flocked to the restaurant and nearby Isle of Wight Academy during previous threats.

“It was so hot that they had to have a place to come stay,” Babb said Tuesday. “I was glad to be here for them.”

She said she doesn’t want county employees to become desensitized to the repeated threats.

“You don’t want it to be one of those ‘the boy who cried wolf’ situations,” Babb said.

Robertson estimated about 150 people—employees, customers and residents conducting business—were displaced for about 90 minutes Monday.

“Obviously for that period of time they could not transact any business and we couldn’t really serve the public,” he said.

Robertson said the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incidents.

“They’re working on some leads and hopefully they’re going to catch this person pretty quickly,” he said.