By SLN staff

Residents and businesses on Waterford’s east side endured three tense hours sheltering in place Tuesday afternoon as law enforcement dealt with a bomb threat at Community State Bank, 810 Fox Lane.

David Brown

The incident resulted in the arrest of David Brown, 52, of Burlington.

On Thursday Brown was charged in Racine County Circuit Court with a single misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. The Racine County Sheriff’s department initially sought an additional charge of bomb scare, but that was not included in the criminal complaint issued Thursday.

The Sheriff’s Office provided the following account of the incident:

“On Tuesday (about 2:30 p.m.) Racine County Communications Center received a 911 call from the Community State Bank, located at 810 Fox Lane within the Village of Waterford.

“A bank employee reported a known customer to them was threatening staff with a bomb in a briefcase. While responding, it was reported the male was walking in the parking lot just outside of the entrance. The employees were able to lock the doors.

“Upon arrival of the deputies, the male was observed in the parking lot about 20 feet from the bank entrance with the silver briefcase still in hand. He was ordered at gunpoint to place the briefcase down and step away from it. The male complied and was safely taken into custody without further incident.

“Information was verified that the male suspect verbally and physically implied there was some sort of explosive capable device contained in the briefcase. For the safety of everyone in the area, the immediate businesses were evacuated and others asked to shelter in place.

“The Kenosha County Sheriff Hazardous Device Squad was requested and responded to the location. The bomb technicians were able to x-ray the briefcase where potential suspicious items were viewed. Utilizing a small water-propelled charge, the briefcase was forced open at a safe distance and the contents examined further.

“The suspect’s truck was identified and was also examined for any suspicious devices.

“Once the briefcase and vehicle were determined not to be a threat, the shelter in place was lifted and area residents were notified the area was safe. Once all photographs and evidence were collected, the immediate businesses were able to re-open.

“During the incident, Waterford Fire Department assisted with evaluating two patients for breathing issues and heat exposure as well as establishing a unified command with law enforcement.       “No parties were transported to the hospital. Following the conclusion of the scene, the residence of the suspect was evaluated and cleared for any other potential explosive devices.”

Officials issued an “all clear” at 5:31 p.m., allowing businesses to reopen and people in the area to leave their homes, according to the Waterford Fire Department, which provided supplemental support during the incident.

Interim Fire Chief Thomas Nehring said the two people treated at the scene were an oxygen-dependent guest of an adjacent hotel and a member of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Hazardous Device Squad. There were no other injuries or hospital transports needed.

Nehring said he was proud of his department’s response and was impressed with the coordination of all the public safety units.

“Incidents like these evolve quickly and require an immediate response to best protect the safety and welfare of our customers,” Nehring said in a news release. “Our vested interest and intimate knowledge of our community proved to be a valuable resource as we assisted our partners during this law enforcement-driven event.

“I am proud of the speed, professionalism and technical competence our responders displayed at this high-risk, low frequency event.”

For additional details from the criminal complaint see the July 14 edition of the Waterford Post.