Authorities have made an arrest in a bomb scare that forced the evacuation of employees and students at the Cass Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center in Ozark on Tuesday, according to Franklin County Sheriff Anthony Boen.
Authorities arrested a juvenile male Tuesday night in association with the alleged bomb threat, Boen said. Boen said he could not name the suspect, who faces unspecified charges.
The incident began when an unidentified male phoned the sheriff’s 911 emergency dispatcher from the center about 3:20 p.m., reporting that a bomb was planted at the center, Boen said.
Deputies arriving at the scene evacuated the 21 buildings on the campus and moved everyone to a staging area at a nearby ball field, Boen said.
At the time, 70 employees and 97 students were present at the site, Boen said. He said the center has 128 students, but some apparently were on a field trip to Fort Smith, he said.
By late Tuesday afternoon, deputies were going from building-to-building, searching for a bomb, Boen said.
He said authorities at the site considered bringing in a bomb squad either from Bentonville or Fort Smith.
However, authorities found no evidence of a bomb, declaring the threat a hoax, and began allowing people back in the buildings shortly after 5 p.m., Boen said. He said his office began interviewing people about the incident after declaring the threat had ended.