Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg police arrest man in downtown bomb threat

ST. PETERSBURG — Police arrested a homeless man Monday and accused him of leaving a duffel bag — which he said contained a bomb — at the Pinellas County Health Department's downtown office.

The building at 205 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N was evacuated for nearly four hours Monday until bomb squad technicians determined there were no explosives in the bag.

Later Monday, St. Petersburg police arrested Brian James Russell, 28, on a charge of making a bomb threat.

Police said a man left a black duffel bag near the health department's front door Monday morning. He told people in the area that the bag contained a bomb and that he wanted to commit suicide. Then he walked away.

Police were called about 9:45 a.m. The building was evacuated and traffic routed around the structure until the Tampa Bay Regional Bomb Squad determined there were no explosives at about 1:30 p.m. Identification inside the bag belonged to Russell, police said. Two witnesses also identified Russell as the man who left the bag, police said.

After the bag was left — but before Russell was identified as a suspect — he was arrested by Gulfport police on an unrelated charge. Gulfport police said Russell gave them a false name when they confronted him during a suspicious person call at 27th Avenue S and Tifton Street.

Gulfport police took him to the Pinellas County Jail. After identifying Russell as their suspect, St. Petersburg officers learned he was at the jail and the bomb threat charge was added against him.

He was being held at the Pinellas Jail Monday night, though bail information was not available.

Russell has been previously arrested on charges of drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident and marijuana possession.

St. Petersburg police arrest man in downtown bomb threat 03/14/11 [Last modified: Monday, March 14, 2011 9:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Long before Trump hired (and fired) him, Steve Bannon was making deals and kindling political fires in Florida

    Blogs

    With Steve Bannon leaving the White House soon, we're re-posting this Leary-Smith look at Bannon's significant, if mysterious, Florida ties.

    Steve Bannon’s voter registration from August 2016 shows he moved from Miami to Nokomis in Sarasota County.
  2. Rick Baker won't recuse himself from city business with his current boss Bill Edwards

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — If Rick Baker is elected mayor, he said he will not recuse himself from any city business involving his current boss, businessman Bill Edwards.

    Rick Baker and Bill Edwards listen to NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson during a press conference at the Mahaffey Theater in 2013 announcing that Edwards was the team's new owner. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]


  3. Spooky Empire brings Spooky Day in the Parks to Disney World

    Blogs

    Foolish mortals, evil queens and hook-handed pirates finally get their own day this year at Walt Disney World.

    Spooky Day in the Parks comes to Disney World Sept. 22-24.
  4. New York Times: Trump tells aides he has decide to remove Steve Bannon

    National

    President Donald Trump has told senior aides that he has decided to remove Stephen Bannon, the embattled White House chief strategist who helped Trump win the 2016 election, the New York Times reports, citing two administration officials briefed on the discussion.

    White House chief strategist Steve Bannon steps off Air Force One as he arrives Sunday at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Bannon was with President Donald Trump on his return trip from Florida. [Alex Brandon | Associated Press]
  5. The weeks' most compelling photos from Tampa Bay and Florida

    Human Interest

    Florida photos of the week for August 11 - August 18: Beach family yoga, Confederate symbols as flashpoints, American Idol winners and hopefuls, Fetish Con, the second oldest survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack turns 104, an armada of rubber ducks, and more.

    Jayden Sheene, 8, left, and Zoey Sheene, 6, rest atop at the arms and legs of their mother, Shelby Sheene, 27, of Holiday, while participating in a Beach Family Yoga gathering on Tuesday (8/15/17) at the Dunedin Causeway. The donation-based classes, hosted each Tuesday (10am), near the Sail Honeymoon rentals, were organized by area moms who wanted to practice yoga while providing an opportunity bond with their children through the spiritual and physical contact of the practice, which has its roots in ancient India. Yoga uses breathing techniques, poses and meditation to help improve health and happiness. (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times)