The bomb was real.
A man whose claim of having explosives strapped to his body led to a standoff with law enforcement officers and the shutdown of a portion of Highway 57 for about 10 hours Monday really did have a “partially assembled” explosive device, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The man, Anthony Lee Young, 32, of Webster Springs, West Virginia, was arrested shortly after 10 p.m. Monday after he was overpowered by police. He was taken to Wayne County Memorial Hospital and is now in jail, facing charges of burglary, trafficking in methamphetamine and possession and manufacturing of explosives.
The burglary charge stems from the theft of a cell phone and some change from the Ludowici Police Department on Sunday, according to authorities.
Other charges are from the standoff, which began around noon when a Long County Sheriff’s Department deputy spotted Young, who was wanted for the burglary, walking along Highway 57 South near the Old Macon-Darien Road.
It was then that Young told the deputy he had the “explosive device” attached to him, the GBI says.
“A perimeter was set up to protect the community and at bthe request of the Long County Sheriff’s Office, officers with the GBI, Georgia State Patrol, Darien Police Department, Army EOD and Ludowici Police Department responded,” the GBI release from Special Agent Stacy Carson said.
Approximately 10 hours later, Young was “taken into custody and the explosive device rendered safe,” the GBI said.
Long County Sheriff Craig Nobles said Monday night Young seemed to be under the influence of drugs during the standoff.
The GBI said “Young was found to be in possession of a significant amount of suspected illegal narcotics at the time of his arrest.”
Tuesday evening, Nobles’ department issued a release saying Young “claimed to have explosives which would detonate if law enforcement continued in the attempt to arrest him.”
The release said Young was wearing camouflage and told authorities he had other weapons as well.
“Due to the concern that Young may have been suicidal, and that he might attempt to flee toward populated areas, law enforcement established a perimeter,” the LCSD release said.
It praised the work the Long County Fire Department and Long County Emergency Services, which helped seal the area and were on hand to provide medical help if needed. The Long County’s release also said nothing was spared in the effort to arrest Young or keep residents safe.
“Nearly every law enforcement tool available was utilized during this major incident, including K-9, robotics, criminal analysis, bomb and explosives experts, surveillance, tactical teams and aviation (observation) assets,” the press release said. “The Georgia State Patrol dispatched a negotiator, who effectively communicated and gathered information from the suspect, supplying the law enforcement command team critical details, which was instrumental, leading to Young’s eventual arrest.”
More charges could be pending, both the GBI and Long County authorities said.