Bomb threat forces evacuation of Newport News courthouses

Posted at 2:21 PM, Feb 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-20 14:21:58-05

Newport News, Va. – A bomb threat forced Newport News courthouses to briefly evacuate this morning.

At approximately 9:00 a.m., a bomb threat was called into 911 dispatchers saying there was a bomb at a downtown court building.

The caller was not specific as to which courthouse, which forced all three courthouses to be evacuated.

The Newport News Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit was assisted by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in the sweep of each building.

A perimeter was set up around the buildings, closing streets to vehicles and pedestrians between Warwick Boulevard and West Avenue and 27th and 25th Streets.

The main courthouse was cleared and open for court to resume at approximately 10:30 a.m.

Juvenile, Domestic and Relations Courts reopened to the public at around 11:25 a.m.

No explosive device was found.

The Newport News Sheriff’s Office is conducting a criminal investigation.

Today’s incident was the first bomb threat of 2013.In 2010, a man who called a bomb into the General District Court was arrested and convicted.

Making a bomb threat is a Class 5 Felony punishable up to 10-years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.