ORLANDO, Fla. – A man telephoned in a bomb threat to the Orlando Police Department late Tuesday. The angry caller threatened to blow up the department’s headquarters and other nearby buildings because people are being “put… out of work” due to the coronavirus crisis, an arrest report said.
Justin Demorea Black, 28, faces charges of false report of a bomb and unlawful use of a two-way communication device, Orlando Sentinel reported. Police did not find any explosives when they arrested him, according to the report.
The incident unfolded about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday when police say the caller dialed 9-1-1 with the threat, claiming he had four bombs. This was about two hours after Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced a county-wide stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m going to blow up the Orlando Police Department, I’m going to blow up the 7-Eleven, I’m going to blow up… there was a carwash,” the caller said, according to the report.
The man refused to tell a dispatcher where he was or give his name, police said, but added “when you hear explosions, just know I warned ya’ll first.”
“Just know, that Coronavirus, y’all want to put people out of work… yeah… I’m gonna put some people out of work,” the caller said. “Have a good night.”
The suspect then ended the call. However, police were able to track his location to 440 South Orange Blossom Trail, which is a U.S. Post Office across the street from Orlando Police Department.
An arriving OPD officer, Jerry Pergerson, spotted a man later identified as Black leaning against a nearby Lynx bus stop sign. Black was wearing work boots, jeans, a yellow construction vest and a white construction hard hat, Pergerson wrote. He was the only person in the area and was holding a cell phone to his ear, the officer said.
At the same time, a second call came in to 9-1-1, Orlando Sentinel reported.
“I got a bomb right here, I’m about to blow up Orlando,” the same caller told a dispatcher. “Just letting you [know] the Orlando Police Department is going to get blown up right now. … I give it like thirty minutes.”
“All I got to do is push this button,” the man said.
Pergerson confronted Black, noticing he had a small pepper spray canister in an elastic holster strapped to his wrist. The canister was black with a red button cap. The officer wrote it appeared Black was trying to “portray the canister of pepper spray as some form of a detonation device for the alleged bombs.”
Once the detention was made, the officer had dispatch return the call, confirming the threat was made using Black’s cell phone.
Moreover, Black previously called the agency from the same number earlier this month, believing he had a warrant out, the report said.
According to Pergerson’s arrest report, Black was too “belligerent” and unable to be interviewed.
Furthermore, as the officer transported him to jail, Black kicked the inside of the patrol car’s door and shouted threats and profanities, Pergerson said, forcing the officer to stop and restrain his legs with help from colleagues.
Black is being held at the Orange County Jail with bail set at $2,800.