UPDATE: Bomb scare over at Johnson City Walmart

Becky Campbell • Updated Mar 7, 2017 at 6:09 PM

Two people were arrested Tuesday after police said they were awakened while passed out in a vehicle in a retailer’s parking lot and after police determined their reported claim of a bomb in the car was false.

Johnson City Police Capt. Brian Rice did not identify the two after the area was deemed safe, but said they were taken into custody by Washington County sheriff’s deputies on outstanding warrants in the county.

JCPD officers were dispatched to the parking lot of Walmart on West Market Street shortly after 8:30 a.m. on a report of two unconscious people in a car. When officers arrived, they said they approached the silver four-door sedan and woke up the man and woman.

“Upon a little bit of investigation they were able to determine the two were under the influence of some type of narcotics,” Rice said. After talking with the couple further, Rice said the man told police he was sitting on the trigger of a bomb.

Rice said the officers called for back-up and Johnson City fire, county deputies and medical personnel were dispatched to the scene. The car was parked in a row of spots near the grocery entrance of Walmart, so officers blocked that entrance and kept vehicles from that area as well.

Bomb squad technicians were also dispatched to the scene, and after doing some inspection of the car, were able to determine there was no explosive.

Officers took the couple into custody and reportedly found a weapon on one of them. There could be charges related to the weapon filed by JCPD, Rice said.

“There was no threat to Walmart, there was no explosive device located,” he said.

More information about the couple will be released as soon as it is available.


UPDATE: Police have reopened access to the Walmart on West Market Street after a bomb scare this morning.

Johnson City Police Capt. Brian Rice said police were called about 8:30 this morning to check on two people who were unconscious in a vehicle. After awakening the man and women, police determined the man and woman were under the the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The man then told police he was seated on a bomb with a pressure plate that would activate if he moved.

The Johnson City Police Department’s Bomb Squad arrived with equipment, and police searched the silver four-door sedan in the parking area.

Police closed access to the grocery side entrance of the store, while customers were still allowed to enter through the other main entrance.

Rice said no bomb was found. The man and woman both had pending warrants, so they were taken into custody.

Names had not been released.


Earlier post at 11:01 a.m.:

Access to Walmart on West Market Street has been restricted because of a bomb threat, city officials reported in a media alert.

Johnson City police are on the scene and investigating. Personnel Washington County Emergency Medical Services, the Johnson City Fire Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office also were on scene.

The Johnson City Police Department’s Bomb Squad had arrived with equipment. Police were searching a silver four-door sedan in the parking area.

Access to the grocery side entrance of the store was closed, while customers were still allowed to enter through the other main entrance.

The city pledged to provide updates as they become available. Keep visiting JohnsonCityPress.com for updates on this developing story.

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