Bomb threat temporarily shuts down DCSO, courts

  • Friday, January 18, 2013

Bomb experts from SLED and the Charleston County Sheriff's Office used this robot to help determine whether a bomb was in a car in the parking lot of the Law Enforcement Annex in Summerville Friday morning. JIM TATUM


An early morning bomb scare Friday disrupted operations at the Dorchester County Law Enforcement Annex in Summerville.
Employees and onlookers stood, shivering, outside, on the far perimeters of the parking lot on Deming Way as bomb experts from SLED and the Charleston County Sheriff's Office carefully inspected a car parked in front of the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office first with a robot, then manually.
The incident began to unfold about 7:30 a.m. Friday when a DCSO deputy came into the building and encountered a woman, identified as Delphine Rhodes of Summerville, in the front waiting area of the DCSO office. When the deputy asked Rhodes if he could help her, she told him she believed there was a bomb in her car, a white Lincoln Town Car parked outside, Sheriff L.C. Knight said.
Sheriff's Office officials spoke to the woman and quickly determined she was experiencing some mental issue. Nonetheless, standard procedure calls for any bomb threat to be investigated and safety measures enacted immediately, he said.
“We didn't take that chance,” Knight said in response to a question as to whether the woman's assertion seemed credible. “We take all such incidents seriously, and we immediately took actions to ensure everyone's safety and called in the experts.”
With buildings and parking lot evacuated, the bomb squad took about two and half hours to carefully go over the vehicle, including deployment of a specialized robot to inspect the vehicle, Knight said.
Rhodes was transported to Summerville Medical Center for evaluation, according to DCSO officials. Knight said he did not know of any charges DCSO might be pursuing as of yet, but noted that such a decision would very likely depend on the results of Rhodes' medical evaluation. He also said that to his knowledge, DCSO has never had any dealings with Rhodes.
The bomb squad determined there was no bomb around 10 a.m. and employees returned to the building and normal operations resumed shortly thereafter.

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