The Colusa County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate an anonymous bomb threat that was phoned into a clerk at the Colusa County Courthouse last Wednesday.
The threat resulted in the complete shutdown of court proceedings and county functions for nearly five hours, officials said.
The anonymous call came in around 12:50 PM, while many county employees were away at lunch.
Lt. Mark Contreras, of the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office, said the threat was unspecific as to the location of an explosive, so both the historic courthouse on Market Street, and the annex building on Oak Street, were completely evacuated as a precaution.
Sheriff officials, as well as Colusa police officers and firefighters, searched both buildings but found nothing, Contreras said.
“We did two sweeps of the courthouses,” he added.
One day after a federal holiday, Colusa County Superior Court had a full calendar.
Judge Jeffrey Thompson said that while there was a monetary cost associated with the disruption, due to lost productivity, the greatest hardships are to those who were in court, but were forced to leave.
People scheduled for hearings waited several hours on the sidewalk, as did many courthouse employees.
By 3 PM, most had gone home.
The “all-clear” was given by the Sheriff’s Office around 5:30 PM, Contreras said.
Because the court had no way to determine who was waiting for their cases to be called, Thompson said no warrants would be issued on any that were left remaining on that day’s calendar.
Instead, notices will be sent to everyone with a new court date, he said.
Meanwhile, Contreras said the matter is still under investigation.
“We are looking at phone records,” he said.
Reporting that a bomb or other explosive has or will be placed in a public or private place, knowing that the report is false, is guilty of a crime punishable by up to one year in jail, according to California Penal Code.
If caught, the caller will be held accountable, Contreras said. ■