For Immediate Release: May 12, 2021
Contact: Sheriff Jamie Patton
Investigators from the Union County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO) are continuing their investigation into a bomb threat that caused the North Union High School to be evacuated yesterday morning. At approximately 10:58 am, the Sherriff’s office received a 9-1-1 call from the North Union Board of Education Office on State Route 739 in Essex reporting a bomb at the North Union High School. Deputies and officers from the Richwood Police Department responded to North Union High School, located at 401 North Franklin Street in the Village of Richwood. North Union Staff and the school resource deputy assigned at North Union High School began an immediate evacuation. UCSO Investigators learned that the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in southern Ohio were also working an investigation into multiple bomb threats called into several area schools between May 6th and today’s date.
As local law enforcement officials were working the active situation at North Union High School, federal agencies were in Minersville, Pennsylvania executing a search warrant related to the investigation. That search warrant lead officials to a suspect in Georgia that is allegedly responsible for making multiple bomb threats in Ohio and several other states. Investigators from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio have reported that deputies from the McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia have arrested Nicholas John Frances Hall, age 18 of 1385 Washington Road in Thomson, Georgia. Hall has been charged with one count of inducing panic, a second-degree felony and one count of making terrorist acts, a third-degree felony. The case in Union County remains under investigation.
“We can never take threats to any of our schools lightly. Any threat against our children in the environment we are living is cause for immediate concern and action,” said Sheriff Jamie Patton. Patton commented that school administers, staff, and students did exactly what was expected according to their emergency operations plan. Patton reported that an after-action review of the entire incident will be completed with responders and school staff.
“The response collaboration between the North Union School Staff, Richwood Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio State Highway Patrol HUB, the Ohio Department of Homeland Security K-9 unit, and the Northern Union County Fire and EMS District at this incident was excellent,” concluded Patton.