Thibodaux man arrested for bomb scare

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A 45-year-old Thibodaux man was arrested Tuesday evening after he allegedly threatened the city’s schools, police department and courthouses in telephone conversations with police, prompting leaders to take emergency measures and lock down schools.

Donald Brooks, of 954-A St. Charles St., was linked to a pre-paid Samsung phone used to make the calls and is charged with terrorizing and communicating false information of planned office, Thibodaux Police Department spokesman David Melancon said.

The phone was a vital piece of evidence leading to the arrest, Melancon said, but police also secured witness statements. The spokesman could not say whether or not Brooks confessed to the crime, nor could he discuss Brooks’ motivation behind the alleged call.

“We were able to link him to the calls,” Melancon said. “The phone is a very key piece of evidence.”

Brooks was scheduled to appear in court yesterday on matters related to child support, Melancon said.

The suspect is being held at the Lafourche Parish Detention Center in lieu of a $500,000 bond.

“I believe people are able to get back into the norm of things, and I believe a lot of parents’ minds are set at ease knowing that the man is off the street and they can send their kids back to school,” Melancon said.

Schools reopened on Wednesday, and the courthouses, evacuated for hours, opened on Tuesday. People who missed their court appearance are asked to report before a judge as soon as possible.


UPDATE: 3:35 p.m. Lafourche Parish schools have announced they will open as scheduled tomorrow after a threat was made toward the Thibodaux Police Department and the Lafourche Parish School system this morning.


UPDATE: 11:31 a.m.

Thibodaux’s schools were dismissed today after police received a call from a man who made a “vague” threat toward the Thibodaux Police Department and Lafourche Parish Schools.

Police are conducting bomb sweeps at the Thibodaux schools. The caller, believed to be a man based on voice, did not specify the threat.

“Really, he was very vague,” Melancon said. “He told us we would figure it out. … He said that he was very unhappy with the school system, he was very unhappy with the police department. He threatened the facilities, and we’re taking it serious and we’re preparing for every potential threat.”

All schools in Lafourche Parish were placed on lockdown, which restricts entry and exit to and from the school and its classrooms. The Thibodaux Police Department also mobilized officers to each school.

The Lafourche Parish School Board decided to dismiss all Thibodaux schools after consultation with the police department, Melancon said.

The lockdown on schools in central and south Lafourche Parish has since been lifted. Parents are able to check out their children early if they desire, LSPB spokesman Floyd Benoit said.

Students at Thibodaux Elementary and St. Charles Elementary schools were bussed home. In the event parents were not home, the students were bussed to the municipal auditorium.

Students at Thibodaux High, East Thibodaux Middle and West Thibodaux Middle schools were bussed home.

The police department partnered with the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office to take the precautionary measures. K-9 units are being used to sweep the schools for

The Thibodaux City Court and District Court houses were also evacuated, Melancon said.

“The case is still ongoing and detectives are running down every lead possible,” Melancon said. “Obviously the phone calls will be analyzed more detailed by the investigating officers, but he threatened no specific location and no specific student.”