Florida deputy charged after sending toy bomb to colleague ‘as a joke’ – National

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A former Florida deputy is going through costs after sending a toy bomb to his colleague, which he says was meant “as a joke” however led to an evacuation of the sheriff’s workplace.

The deputy, James Piper, resigned on Tuesday after admitting to sending the package deal, authorities mentioned.

On Wednesday, he was charged with the planting of a hoax bomb, thought of a second-degree felony.

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ABC affiliate WFTS stories the field had been addressed to Lt. Joseph Gerrentz and was insulated with plastic packaging and contained a pink cylinder-shaped object with protruding wires and a handwritten notice with the phrase “increase” on it.

A piece of paper with the word “boom” written on it included in a box with a toy bomb sent to a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant as a joke.

A chunk of paper with the phrase “increase” written on it included in a field with a toy bomb despatched to a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Workplace lieutenant as a joke.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Workplace

Gerrentz instantly left his workplace on opening the package deal and notified everybody of the potential menace.

A part of the constructing was evacuated because of this, and a Ok-9 bomb detection canine was introduced in however didn’t discover the package deal harmful. A bomb squad additionally responded and confirmed it was a toy bomb.

Piper realized what had occurred after Sheriff Bob Gualtieri despatched out a communication to the entire workplace, prompting the then-deputy to contact his supervisor.

He resigned that very same day after being with the workplace from 1982-2015 after which being re-hired in January 2017.

NBC affiliate WFLA stories he was arrested on Wednesday and charged.

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Whereas Gualtieri wouldn’t touch upon the joke, WFLA stories that he has been vocal concerning the situation following a number of threats acquired by space faculties in 2018.

“There’s nothing humorous about this, particularly on the subject of weapons or any sort of weapon or any sort of menace,” he mentioned in February.

Some folks in the neighborhood expressed shock over the deputy’s joke.

“I believe it’s silly. I believe it’s ridiculous that an individual who spent all this time on the pressure, given the present setting, would do one thing like this,” mentioned resident Rose Rowland.

In line with the Pinellas County jail’s web site, Piper was launched on a US$5,000 bond.

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