Terrorism Task Force Investigates Tulsa Bomb Scare

Wednesday, July 15th 2009, 5:29 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa's Joint Terrorism Task Force has joined the investigation into a bomb scare in south Tulsa on Tuesday evening.  The task force is made up of area officers and FBI agents.  The scare happened at the Tulsa Jewish Retirement Healthcare Center inside Zarrow Manor, which is an independent living facility for senior citizens near 71st and Lewis.

07/14/2009  Related Story: Device At Tulsa Jewish Center Just An Alarm Clock

The first thing that happened was someone called in a bomb threat to the center at 3:48 p.m.  Officers went to the scene, found nothing, left and filed a report.  Then, at 4:56 p.m., an employee heard something ticking underneath some paper inside a commercial trash can.  They took the trash can out to the parking lot and called police.

Given the phone threat earlier, police took no chances.  They immediately called the fire department, EMSA and the bomb squad, and then began evacuations as a precaution.        

They emptied the four-story senior center first.  They removed kids from a swimming pool and took them to the nearby Marriott at Southern Hills.  They also removed kids from a day camp program.

At 7:20 p.m., bomb techs realized the ticking sound was not an explosive device, but an alarm clock and everyone was allowed back into their homes.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating whether the incident was an intentional effort to scare people or if it was something more innocent.  They are also investigating the phone threat.

Those at the Jewish center campus say they had recently reviewed their security measures after some national incidents.  Plus, they conduct drills for such events and felt everything was handled smoothly.

They say in the past 20 years, they've only had a few bomb threats.