HAZARD — Main Street and High Street in downtown Hazard were closed to traffic on the morning of Jan. 28, as a Kentucky State Police dog sniffed through the area in search of possible explosives. Sometime around 10:00 a.m. the office of Perry County Circuit Court Clerk Charlie Patterson began receiving calls, which warned of a bomb in either the Judicial Center or the Courthouse. Overall, five calls warning of a bomb were received at the circuit clerk’s office in a short period of time. The person delivering the threat seemed to be the same on each of the five calls.
The Judicial Center and the Perry County Courthouse sit adjacent to each other between Main Street and High Street in Hazard. Local citizens often refer to both structures as the courthouse. However, the Judicial Center is the building where District Court and Circuit Court are held, and it is recognizable to the passing public by the large dome on its roof. The Judicial Center is where the threatening calls were received. The Perry County Courthouse is the older building next to the Judicial Center, where the offices of the PVA, Sheriff, County Clerk, Judge Executive and others are located.
Both buildings were evacuated within minutes of the calls and the streets were temporarily closed. After a thorough search of the premises, police deemed the area clear and downtown was once again open to the public without incident.
Police are continuing their investigation. The Hazard Police Department and Perry County Sheriff’s Office can be contacted with information regarding the incident. Calling a bomb threat into any telephone number can result in a possible charge of terroristic threatening if apprehended, even in situations where there is no bomb on the property. Jan. 28 was court day in Hazard. Those scheduled to appear in court on that day will still be required to do so.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.