Local News

Another Possible Bomb At Fayetteville Clinic, Police Call It A False Alarm

Posted October 4, 1998

— Days after a bomb scare at a Fayetteville abortion clinic, someone made a suspicious phone call to the Fayetteville Police Department, leading investigators to believe there might be another bomb there.

Officials checked out the Hallmark Clinic Monday, and everything appeared to be okay.

"The police department had already checked the outside of the building where the bomb was supposed to be, and we haven't found anything," Fayetteville Fire Commander Bob Averitt said. "We've looked all around the outside, and we declared a false alarm."

Monday afternoon, a tip gave investigators a lead into finding out who left an explosive device outside the clinic on Saturday. The Robeson County Sheriff said a farm supply business owner in St. Pauls reported some dynamite missing from one of his sheds on September 28.

Officials are now trying to figure out if that was the same dynamite left at two abortion clinics over the weekend.

A task force has been created to determine who left explosive devices at the two abortion clinics Saturday.

At a news conference Monday morning, an ATF spokesperson says his agency, theFBIand local investigators are pooling their information and looking for an attempted bomber.

"We view this type of violent crime, the using of anonymous explosive devices of a serious magnitude, as an extremely heinous crime," said Earl Woodham of the ATF.

The ticking bombs were discovered before they exploded, and no one was injured at either site.

A "war room" has been set up in the basement of the Cumberland County Sheriff's office.

Officials are looking for a white man in his 40s, with gray hair, bags under his eyes, who may be driving a full-size older pick-up. At this point, he is not being called a suspect, merely someone who might have more information.

While agents continue their hunt, Coalition Partners of theNational Abortion Federationhave stepped in to suggest new security measures at the clinic.

Sheriff's deputies have also beefed up their patrols, making checks on the county clinic every hour.

The owner of one of the clinics is offering a $25,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of a suspect.

An explosive device was found first behind the Hallmark Clinic in Cumberland County Saturday. A construction crew discovered the bomb ticking near a back window.

Officers cordoned off streets near the clinic. Military bomb experts diffused the explosives without injuries at 2 p.m., and the main roadways were reopened.

"I heard something ticking," said Glen Haire, the construction worker who found the bomb. "My pick-up was parked about 10 feet to 15 feet away from the bomb. I went back there and saw what it was."

Cumberland County Sheriff's deputies also evacuated and set up a safe perimeter outside the Carolina Women's Clinic, after an employee found a suspicious package at the front door.

Authorities say that the two explosive devices were similar, consisting of multiple sticks of dynamite complete with detonators and kitchen timers which served as the timing devices.

The same clinics were the target of arson last month, although investigators have not said if they think the situations are related.

Several phone lines have been established. If you have any information that could help, you can call Cumberland County Crime Stoppers at910-483-TIPS. The ATF also has two numbers for tips:1-888-ATF-BOMBand910-483-5546.

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