A bomb threat caused the Culpeper County Courthouse to be evacuated just after 2 p.m. on Wednesday, halting legal proceedings for two hours.
According to reports from the scene, a man called the General District Court Clerk’s office around this time and stated, “This is the last call. It’s gonna blow.”
Bailiffs whisked General District Court Judge Theresa Carter from the bench before telling occupants to leave both courtrooms. Once outside, court personnel and the public were made to move at least a block away from the courthouse entrance on West Cameron Street.
West Street from Davis to Spencer streets were blocked to vehicular and pedestrian traffic as bomb-sniffing dogs canvassed the inside and outside of the courthouse.
Culpeper Town Police assisted the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office on the scene. Several streets around the courthouse were cordoned off by law enforcement vehicles, including West, Cameron, and Davis Streets up to Main.
Court personnel were allowed back into the building around 3:40 p.m., as dozens of members of the public mingled about in parking lots in the area, including at the Star-Exponent. Court resumed after 4 p.m. once the building had been determined safe.
“Culpeper Sheriff units have completed their search of the courthouse, and employees are returning to work. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation in the orderly evacuation this afternoon,” said Sheriff Scott Jenkins in a statement. “Detectives are investigating the bomb threat, and ask that anyone with information to call our non-emergency number at 540/727-7900.”