TUPPER LAKE - State police and other emergency squads responded to a bomb threat Tuesday at the Sunmount Developmental Disabilities Services Office campus that turned out to a fake.
"It was not a bomb," said state police Investigator Steve Ansari. "It was a false report."
Ansari said state police have a suspect whom they are investigating. They're trying to determine if the man is a current or former resident of the home for people with developmental disabilities.
State police vehicles are parked outside the main office at Sunmount Developmental Disabilities Services Office in Tupper Lake Tuesday afternoon as officers investigate a bomb threat.
(Enterprise photo — Jessica Collier)
"We have a couple of leads that we're following up on," Ansari said.
He said an arrest may be pending and that the appropriate charge would be falsely reporting an incident in the first degree, which is a class D felony.
A class D felony can mean up to seven years in prison if a person is convicted, but for first-time, nonviolent offenders, it usually means between no prison time and three years.
Ansari said there's no threat to the public. A bomb-sniffing dog from the state police barracks in Ray Brook was brought to Sunmount, checked the area where the caller claimed the bomb was and cleared it.
The man called Franklin County 911 dispatch to report the threat and talked to two dispatchers there, telling them he had hidden a bomb in a specific location at Sunmount and had a detonator that could blow it up. Then 911 sent state police to investigate.
Three patrols and a sergeant from the Tupper Lake state police barracks responded to the incident. Tupper Lake's rescue squad and fire department were called to stand by at the nearby Counter's Garage.
A Sunmount security vehicle was parked at the main entrance of the facility, and a security officer was letting cars exit at about 1 p.m.
The bomb-sniffing dog arrived a little before 1 p.m., and all emergency squads were sent back to their stations by about 1:30 p.m.
The state Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, which oversees Sunmount, issued a statement about the incident, saying the Albany office was notified of the bomb threat shortly before noon.
"All individuals and staff were safely and immediately evacuated while local officials responded to the scene," the statement reads. "A thorough check of the building revealed no evidence of a bomb and all residents and staff were safely returned to their homes. OPWDD thanks the Sunmount staff and local officials for their quick response."
Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.