Local News

Hostage Situation Ends Peacefully At Clayton Plant

Posted November 3, 2004

— A hostage situation at a Caterpillar plant in Clayton ended without incident Tuesday.

Authorities said 55-year-old Pam Arizona was upset over the firing of a friend when she entered the lobby of the Johnston County plant around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Deputies said Arizona brought in a shotgun and held one male employee and two female security guards hostage. Authorities also said Arizona made a threat that she had grenades or some kind of explosives strapped to her body.

Arizona's friend who was fired went to the plant to work with hostage negotiators to diffuse the situation.

"I think she was a little bit relieved that she was not agitated as far as being loud and that sort of thing. She was emotionally calm and even keeled the whole way through," said Mike East, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Arizona, who does not work at the plant, later released the hostages and she was taken into custody. She is charged with first-degree kidnapping and making false bomb threats.

"It's just a good example of training paying off. We have trained for this. A lot of times, folks want to criticize training, but I am telling you training paid off," said Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell.

Employees were evacuated from the plant and taken away in buses to East Clayton Elementary School. Authorities said no one was injured.

The Caterpillar plant remained locked down Tuesday with all 2nd and 3rd shifts cancelled. The plant reopened for the 1st shift at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

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