OPD: Man makes threats outside Meadowbrook Church prompting evacuation

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OCALA, Fla., (WCJB) -- Around 8 a.m. Thursday morning, the Ocala Police Department received a concerned call from Meadowbrook Church in Ocala about a potential bomb threat.

PDespite the seriousness of the situation, TV20's Olana Osborn reports that the suspect won't face criminal charges and was baker-acted.

After concerned reports of a possible threat, the Ocala Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff's bomb squad reported to the church prepared to face the worst.

“In a situation like this you just never know what the reality is that you’re dealing with, you have to go into the situation as if there is a bomb,” said OPD public information officer Meghan Shay.

The video shows the the package that a man brought to Meadowbrook Church in Ocala.

He walked from a neighboring apartment complex to the church, where a family member of his works, and was reported to have been talking to himself and walking around with the package and a backpack

The church was immediately evacuated and the school attached to Meadowbrook was put on lockdown.

"We have concluded as well if this is an individual we have had multiple interactions with law enforcement..." Shay continued.

In fact, the 24-year-old suspect has been baker-acted by opd four previous times.

As the MCSO bomb squad investigated the package, an x-ray came back inconclusive, prompting them to detonate the package. No bomb was inside the package.

"We did search his residence and found that there were no bomb making materials and his home,” Shay said.

The suspect was prescribed medication that he had allegedly not been taking.

“Unfortunately when it comes to mental health care, really falls on the individual to follow through with the treatment that they are offered, so once someone has baker acted and they are stabilized, that’s the longest period of time that they can be held their will,” Shay continued.

Law enforcement used a K-9 officer to sweep the church grounds before leaving the scene.

The suspect won’t be facing any charges because the investigation concluded that he didn’t make any direct threats to the church or to the people inside.