UPDATE: Authorities release 911 recording of Washington County bomb threat

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 4:03 PM EST
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UPDATE: 11/20/20 4:15 P.M.

MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Authorities have released a 911 recording of a dispatcher’s conversation with a man who notified authorities of a bomb threat at the Washington County Courthouse Thursday afternoon.

The call came in about 1:45 p.m., and authorities immediately evacuated the building at 205 Putnam Street in Marietta.

A bomb-sniffing dog was called in, and a search turned up no explosives.

The building was reopened late in the afternoon

In the nearly four-minute-long recording, the caller at first said “I’m going to do a blast over here.” However, later on, after conversations with a dispatcher, the man identified himself as George Wilson and said he heard someone in line at a grocery store say that there was going to be a blast at the courthouse.

He later provided authorities with an address on State Route 60 in Lowell where he said authorities could meet him to talk about the threat.

However, Sheriff Larry Mincks said Friday that it was not a real address.

There have been no arrests, and there were no injuries in Thursday’s incident.

Anyone with information that might help identify the caller is asked to call 911 or the sheriff’s office.

Listen to the 911 call here.


MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Workers were evacuated from the Washington County Courthouse Thursday afternoon after a bomb threat was called in.

Chief Deputy Mark Warden of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office says a man called and said he heard that someone said a “blast” (later clarified as an explosion) would happen at the courthouse on Thursday.

The call came in around 1:45 p.m. and the courthouse was evacuated immediately.

An investigation is underway. Warden says the phone call is being monitored to see if it can be determined who made the threat.

”We were able to get a name from the individual, who identified himself, and a location where we could talk to him<” Warden said Thursday afternoon. “I can tell you the officers went to that location where we could meet this person who said he had overheard two people talking about it. That individual wasn’t there, nor who the people who were there know who he was.”

Warden says one of Ohio University’s bomb dogs was brought in to sniff for explosives. The block of Putnam Street in downtown Marietta where the courthouse complex is located was closed to traffic for a while.

After a thorough search of premises, no explosives were found. Warden says the “all clear” was sounded at 3:20 p.m.

Warden says some people went home for the day, but many had returned to work in the courthouse by 3:45 p.m. Thursday.

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