36th District Court in Detroit briefly evacuated

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — Detroit’s 36th District Court was evacuated Thursday morning after receiving three phoned-in bomb threats that explosives were on site and would be detonated.

The threats came in on two separate phone lines at about 10:45 a.m. and were made by a male caller, said Commander Elvin Barren of the Detroit Police Department.

Within 10 minutes of the call, court security had evacuated the building of 2,000 people.

Police were called to investigate, including the Detroit Police Department’s Bomb Squad. Six K-9 units were brought in to sniff for explosives: two from the Detroit Police Department, three from the Wayne State University Police Department,and another from Detroit Public Schools police. They were on site for about an hour and a half.

Just before 1 p.m., police declared the building all clear and employees were allowed to re-enter. Traffic opened up again on Madison, which had been partially blocked by police. A long line of people with court business had formed outside to resume the work of the day.

Barren said a joint terrorism task force will investigate from here, as the incident represented a “threat to masses.”

The courthouse is located at 421 Madison Ave., in the shadow of the Detroit Athletic Club, Ford Field and the Music Hall.