Bomb Threat at South Main Wachovia

Lindsay -- July 12th, 2010

Harrisonburg police have diverted traffic on South Main Street between South Avenue and Mosby Road Monday morning as reports roll in of a bomb threat at the Wachovia Bank on South Main Street.

Screenshot of bank location and closed roads from Google Maps

According to an early report on WHSV there may have been a hostage situation:

The Harrisonburg Police Department has blocked off a portion of South Main Street for an apparent hostage situation at the Wachovia bank branch.

Police have not released details, but a Wachovia branch manager in Staunton told the station that police are dealing with a hostage situation at the Harrisonburg branch.

But the Daily News Record is reporting that there are no hostages:

It’s not clear if any customers were in the bank at the time, but police say the incident was not a hostage situation.

South Main Street from Mosby Road to South Avenue is blocked off and police have asked the public to stay clear.

UPDATE: According to police, the suspect is in custody, and authorities are in the process of determining if the device strapped to the suspect was in fact a bomb.

HPD spokesperson Mary-Hope Gangwer Vass confirmed that bank employees were able to exit the building safely, but she stopped short of confirming that there were no hostages involved. “We are still investigating the incident,” Vass said.

Traffic on S. Main is still being blocked and diverted as of 2:00 p.m. Monday.

UPDATE 2: At 3:22 p.m., HPD announced that “all streets have now opened” near the Wachovia bank. “Most officers [had already] cleared the scene” by 3:00.

UPDATE 3: At 4:15 p.m., police announced that there was no bomb:

Communication was made with the offender, while he was inside the bank and he exited the bank around 10:30 a.m.

Officers instructed the offender to walk to the back of the building until he was able to remove the device from his person. Once the offender removed the device, he was taken into police custody to speak with investigators.

The item attached to the offender was determined not to be an explosive device.

Brent Finnegan contributed to this report.

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8 Responses to “Bomb Threat at South Main Wachovia”

  1. David Miller says:

    Wow, please keep us updated

  2. Ashley says:

    my husband works on rt.11 near the incident. an inside source told him that some robbers took a family (husband, wife and kids)and are holding them hostage. they tied a bomb to the man’s chest and sent him in to rob the bank while the wife and kids wait at gunpoint. the source is totally legit.

  3. Deb SF says:

    Just got home to a pre-recorded message from the HPD at mid-morning advising people to stay at home and avoid windows around South Main and the Wachovia Branch, but also noting that if careful and cautious, it’s OK to leave the house, but to steer clear of South Main.

    And another one just a few minutes ago, just after 3PM: “This is the HPD with an important message. The incident at South Main Street has been resolved.”

    Interesting. We’ve never gotten this kind of warning before; we’re just up the hill behind this Wachovia. I wonder what areas got the call?

  4. MB Green says:

    If his family was being held hostage at his home why were police able to and search his home, and why is he the only one still in custody? This just doesn’t make sense.

    • Brooke says:

      That’s my question. I keep hearing that his family was held hostage, and he was forced to go do this, which if it’s true, makes sense. BUT, the news outlets aren’t saying anything about it. Even the articles that say there were no hostages, turn around and say they weren’t sure and are looking into it.

      I actually hope it’s true, because, otherwise, I’m having a hard time understanding why a doctor would rob a bank with a fake explosive device strapped to his chest.

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