Julia Randall Evacuated After Bomb

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For the second time in less than a month, the Payson Police Department has received e-mails threatening to blow up the PPD building.

On Thursday, the threats included Julia Randall Elementary School as well, causing police to evacuate the school. There were few people in the school at the time, and officers found no bomb in either location.

Payson Police Chief Don Engler said they have located who they believe is sending the threatening e-mails in Texas.

The department is working with Texas authorities to have the man arrested. Until then, they are not releasing his name, Engler said.

The first e-mail sent was on Dec. 21 and came through the town Web site. The e-mail stated the man was going to go “postal” on the department, kill cops with a chainsaw and blow up the building.

Officers searched the PPD then and found no bomb. The computer used to send the e-mail was traced back to Texas and a man Payson police officers have dealt with before.

“We were pretty convinced who we thought it was,” he said. Still, they did not have enough to charge the man, he added.

On Jan. 12, a second e-mail was sent to the department around 5:30 p.m.

This one stated the man was going to blow up the department with a pipe bomb and that there was a live bomb at JRE, Engler said.

Officers went to the school and evacuated after-hours staff and several town basketball teams practicing in the gym, he said.

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office bomb dogs searched the school, and no evidence of a bomb was found.

Engler said he does not know why the man is sending the e-mails and a motive is unclear. Officers in Texas will likely charge the man soon.

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