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Shelter-in-place ordered after bomb threat at Racine County bank

Waterford Incident.jpg
Posted at 7:43 PM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 23:04:42-04

WATERFORD, Wis. — Law enforcement gave the all-clear after a bomb threat at a Racine County bank prompted a "shelter-in-place" for residents on Tuesday.

Around 2:45 p.m., the Village of Waterford Fire Department (WFD) responded to the Community State Bank in Waterford to stand-by for a person who made threats to bank staff from the drive through. According to the Racine County Sheriff's Office (RCSO), the customer was threatening staff with a bomb in a briefcase. Employees were able to lock the doors as the man was walking in the parking lot outside of the entrance.

Upon deputies arrival, the man was seen in the parking lot 20 feet away from the bank entrance with the briefcase still in hand. He was ordered at gunpoint to place the briefcase down and step away, RCSO said. He complied and was safely arrested.

RCSO said it was verified the man said there was some sort of explosive capable device in the briefcase. Due to safety, area businesses were evacuated and others were asked to shelter in place.

By 4:30 p.m., explosive ordnance experts arrived at scene. An all-clear was provided at 5:30 p.m. and the scene was deemed safe.

An oxygen dependent guest at a nearby hotel was assessed and assisted by WFD. Another was evaluated for heat exposure. No other injuries were reported during the incident.

The suspect's home was also evaluated and cleared for any other potential explosive devices.

The 52-year-old Racine County man was interviewed and transported to the Racine County Jail for two counts of disorderly conduct and bomb scare. RCSO said further charges may be considered for terrorist threats.

Due to the high call volume, stand-by assistance was requested from the Wind Lake Volunteer Fire Company, WFD said.

"Incidents like these evolve quickly and require an immediate response to best protect the safety and welfare of our customers," Interim Fire Chief Tom Nehring commented stated. "Our vested interest and intimate knowledge of our community proved to be a valuable resource as we assisted our partners during this law enforcement driven event. I am proud of the speed, professionalism and technical competence our responders displayed at this high-risk, low frequency event."

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