A North Carolina man was arrested in Hartford Friday on allegations that he threatened to blow up a downtown federal building.
Walter A. Nunley III, 50, of Morganton, was taken into custody after authorities said he walked near the front entrance of the William R. Cotter Federal Building, carrying a backpack, and shouted at the security officers, “Hit the deck. I’ve got a bomb.”
He made this threat three times in “rapid succession,” according to a press release provided by the U.S. Justice Department. Nunley was taken into custody without struggle, police said.
The Hartford Police Department called in a bomb squad and the building, located at 135 High St., was evacuated. The bomb squad examined the backpack and determined it didn’t contain a bomb or any other explosive materials, the press release stated.
Nunley was presented in court before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez and charged with making a bomb hoax.
The charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and fine of up to $250,000. If convicted, Nunley also faces an order of restitution to reimburse any officials for fire or rescue expenses incident to the hoax.
Authorities said Nunley is detained pending a bond hearing scheduled for Oct. 4 at 2 p.m.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Protective Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Hartford Police Department are all investigating the case