Judge's `intuition' keeps courthouse open after bogus bomb threat received

February 02, 2000|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr., administrative judge for the Circuit Court of Carroll County, declined to evacuate the county courthouse yesterday in Westminster after a clerk received an anonymous bomb threat.

District Court personnel and members of the state's attorney's office were directed to leave the building after the threat was received at 9: 30 a.m. But Beck decided to keep Circuit Court open for criminal and civil proceedings.

"I've been through about a dozen bomb threats here, and this one seemed bogus from the beginning," said Beck.

"I don't want to reveal specifics, but based on the nature, timing and language -- and knowing how good our security is -- I was confident in my intuition," he said.

Beck requested that two police dogs trained to detect explosives be brought into the courthouse to search the building.

The dogs found no explosive devices, he said.

District Court workers and members of the state's attorney's office returned to work at 1: 30 p.m.

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