The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Spotsylvania Towne Centre reopened after bomb threat
The Spotsylvania Towne Centre reopened Friday night after officials evacuated the mall following a bomb threat.
Capt. Jeff Pearce of the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office said K9 units from multiple jurisdictions swept the inside and outside of the mall but did not find any devices. The sweep was finished at 9 p.m.
Pearce said the threat remained investigation.
He said a call was made to a women’s clothing store, Charlotte Russe, in the mall at 6:18 p.m. He said a middle-age sounding man said that there was a bomb somewhere in the mall.
The store manager, Erica Auton, immediately notified the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies arrived within four minutes and the evacuation began at 6:21 p.m.
More dogs and officers arrived as the search continued.
Auton said about the call, “It was just a thing. It was something I had to handle. I had to make sure my staff was safe and didn’t have time to be scared.”
Sales associate Mia Dipalma, 19, and dress specialist Taylor Hill were also in the store when the bomb threat was called in.
“It was scary,” said Dipalma. “A police officer came in and told us to get everyone out of the store.”
Charlotte Russe sales associate Katheryn Joswiak, 21, arrived at the mall just as it was being evacuated for her shift, which would have lasted until 10:30 p.m. in the store.
“I pulled up and everyone was outside,” she said. “It was weird. I was going to go into work but I guess I’m not going in tonight.”
Margie Crispin and Jennifer Omundson were shopping in Dick’s Sporting Goods with their daughters, Megan Crispin and Myah Omundson, both 14, when officials evacuated the mall.
Omundson was buying cleats and tape for shin splints but had the leave them at the counter when police entered the store.
“Two police officers came in,” Crispin said. “I thought someone was stealing at first. They said we had to leave the store and leave the mall.”
The shoppers took in the scene from the parking lot outside of the Guitar Center entrance, which was the hub of police activity.