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January 15, 2013 at 4:04 PM

County jail in Kent shut down after woman tosses suspected bomb

The county jail at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent was locked down for more than two hours today after a woman threw what was thought to have been a bomb through a staff entrance.

The woman first went into a nearby bank and “made a comment about a bomb,” said King County Jail Cmdr. William Hayes. She then went to the jail at the  Regional Justice Center. When a staff member opened a door she threw something inside, Hayes said. The staff member kicked the item outside and Kent police were contacted, he said.

Kent police and fire crews responded to the jail. When they couldn’t immediately figure out what was inside the bag the King County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad was called, Hayes said. Bomb technicians X-rayed the bag, finding a few water bottles and other items, Hayes said. Bomb technicians then blew up the bag, he added.

“Better safe than sorry,” Hayes said.

The incident resulted in the closure of the jail and movement from cells was restricted from noon to 2:30 p.m.  Movement in the courthouse at the Regional Justice Center was also restricted because of the threat, Hayes said.

The incident remains under investigation. It wasn’t immediately known if anyone was arrested.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: bomb scare, Kent Police Department, King County Jail

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