A 57-year-old Columbia man called Howard County police yesterday morning alleging that he had planted bombs under the county's George Howard office building, prompting a three-hour barricade outside his Wilde Lake home.
Police received a call at 9: 45 a.m. yesterday from someone who said there were several bombs at the Ellicott City building and that they would explode at 10 a.m., said police spokesman Sgt. Morris Carroll.
After determining there were no bombs at the building, officials traced the phone call to the man's address.
Blocking off the surrounding area from about noon to 3 p.m., officers tried to get the man to leave his house. During that time they evacuated neighboring townhouses because the man claimed to have several bombs.
The man surrendered peacefully at 3 p.m. and was taken to a mental health facility. Police said they do not know the man's motives but that he indicated he was upset about personal matters. Police did not identify the man or charge him.
"He's in custody for his own safety," Carroll said. "He may be charged."
Pub Date: 2/02/99