Early morning bomb threat on campus spurs evacuation, situation diffused.
A San Marcos man is facing three criminal charges in connection with a bomb threat that prompted the evacuation of about 300 students from College Inn Tuesday morning.
Clayton Garland Warren, 24, is in custody at the Hays County Jail and has been charged with two counts of a bomb hoax and one count of evading arrest, according to jail records. The incident began around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday when an officer on patrol for the University Police Department saw Warren smoking near the LBJ Student Center—a violation of Texas State’s smoke-free policy.
Jayme Blaschke, university spokesperson, said Warren fled on foot from the officer but was taken into custody. Blaschke said the Warren is not a student despite early morning reports from UPD.
During an inspection of Warren’s car, officers discovered what appeared to be a potentially explosive device with an ignition mechanism attached, according to a press release from University News Service.
The Austin Bomb Squad arrived on the scene at 3 a.m. and determined by 4 a.m. that the device was not explosive, but discovered another suspicious package in the vehicle. After X-rays proved inconclusive, the package was detonated by the bomb squad at 5:46 a.m. as a precautionary measure, according to the press release.
“Obviously with the history here on campus we take any potential bomb threat very, very seriously,” Blaschke said.
Olivia Wukasch, theater freshman and College Inn resident, was one of about 300 students who awoke to the sound of alarms in the dorm early Tuesday morning.
“I went to bed at 1, and I was trying to sleep, but lucky for me I didn’t sleep. Next thing I know all the alarms are going off,” Wukasch said.
Many students in College Inn thought the alarms were part of a drill and were told to evacuate to the Student Recreation Center without being told why, Wukasch said. Fire trucks drove past the students as they were walking to the recreation center, and Wukasch said she thought the dorm was on fire.
Wukasch said students were told to stay away from the doors of the recreation center, and they were not allowed to leave.
“We were like ‘When can we go?’” Wukasch said. “I tried to sleep but I couldn’t.”
College Inn residents were evacuated to the recreation center at 1:42 a.m. and were not allowed to return to their rooms until 6 a.m. once the bomb squad gave the all-clear, according to the press release.
“I feel like they didn’t tell us a whole lot, but they were really good about it,” Wukasch said. “They did a good job.”