LaGrange Police have arrested a Meriwether County man for allegedly calling in several bomb threats to businesses in LaGrange.
Police were first alerted to the false bomb reports Thursday evening about 6 p.m. Dispatchers from Troup County 911 say they received three consecutive phone calls reporting bombs were placed at the KIA of LaGrange and Mike Patton auto dealerships, and the Verizon wireless office in LaGrange.
All three businesses reported receiving a bomb threat, so the LaGrange Police Department was notified and officers responded the businesses.
Due to the scale of the threats, LaGrange Police set up an incident command center near the businesses and reached out to other agencies to assist with clearing the location. Officials from the Georgia State Patrol, Troup County Sheriff’s Office, Phenix City Police Department, Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Georgia Tech Police Department assisted LaGrange Police with safely evacuating the locations in question and nearby businesses.
Paramedics and firefighters from American Medical Response and the LaGrange Fire Department also set up on scene just in case.
Once the buildings were clear, authorities utilized bomb detection dogs from the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, Phenix City Police Department, Muscogee County Sherriff’s Office, and Georgia Tech Police Department to search the businesses for any potential explosives, but the threats were eventually determined to be a hoax.
After the locations were assured to be safe, officers with the LaGrange Police Department Criminal Investigation Section began an investigation into the fraudulent threats.
Later that night about 1 a.m., authorities were able to identify a Meriwether County man as a potential suspect after locating information indicating he may have called in the threats.
Meriwether County Sheriff’s Deputies then assisted local police in locating the suspect, Marcus Santrell Blount, and he was transported to the LaGrange Police Department for further questioning. Police say that Blount admitted to calling in the bomb threats to all three businesses during subsequent interviews.
As a result of the investigation, Blount, age 25, was arrested and transported to the Troup County Sheriff’s Office and booked into the jail charged with three counts of Transmitting a False Public Alarm.