The 36th District Court in Downtown Detroit was evacuated due to a bomb threat on Thursday morning. Michigan State Police, accompanied by explosive detection dogs, are on site to inspect the building and verify the credibility of the threat.
According to WWJ, Detroit Police Department’s Cpl. Dan Donakowski noted that people have cleared out of the 36th District Court on 420 block of Madison Street in Detroit, near Comerica Park and Ford Field.
Consequently, roads surrounding the courthouse are currently closed, leading to significant traffic congestion. The method of communication for the threat—whether by phone, letter, or another means—is yet to be confirmed.
The 36th District Court last experienced a bomb threat in April this year.
State and local police said they investigate all threats with the same degree of caution. Earlier this year, after several threats were made against schools and government buildings in Michigan, the state’s Attorney General Dana Nessel issues a video detailing the severity of the punishments levied again individuals who are found guilty of the threats.
In the video, Nessel said potential charges could include:
- communicating a threat of terrorism, 20-year felony;
- calling in a bomb threat, a four-year felony;
- malicious use of a telecommunications device, a six-month misdemeanor; and
- threatening violence against school employee or student, a one-year misdemeanor.
Additionally, swatting — which is the practice of making a prank call made to emergency services in an attempt to dispatch law enforcement to a particular location — could result in the following charges:
- false report of a crime, a 93-day misdemeanor;
- false report resulting in physical injury, a 5-year felony;
- false report resulting in a serious bodily impairment, a 10-year felony; and/or
- false report resulting in a death, a 15-year felony.
In addition to serving time in jail or prison, those that are found guilty of these crimes can face fines of up to $50,000.00.