Bomb threat forces evacuation at popular Manteo restaurant
Published 9:33 pm Saturday, December 28, 2019
The Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe was evacuated late Saturday afternoon, December 28 after a bomb threat was received. It was the second bomb threat received that day at the popular Manteo eatery. Police rushed to the restaurant, set up a perimeter, blocked off downtown streets and searched the restaurant premises. No bomb was found.
The first bomb threat was received Saturday morning just before the Lost Colony Brewery was scheduled to open. After police searched the building and didn’t find anything suspicious, the restaurant opened and began serving customers. The second threatening phone call was received in the late afternoon and was more specific.
Manteo Police Chief Vance Haskett said the caller made claims of the restaurant being doused with gasoline and threats of a bomb and shooting. On arrival, police didn’t find evidence of gasoline at the restaurant, but with the additional threatening nature of the call, they ordered the restaurant evacuated, shut down traffic on Queen Elizabeth Ave. and blocked off adjacent streets.
Heavily armed police officers and sheriff’s deputies set up a perimeter around downtown, the Roanoke Island Fire Department was placed on stand-by and a bomb sniffing dog from the Dare County Sheriff’s Office was brought in to help search the restaurant and nearby premises. Authorities didn’t find a bomb and opened access to the downtown Manteo waterfront area around 6:15 p.m.
Paul Charron, owner of the Lost Colony Brewery and Café, was out of town but talked to police, who told him they were taking the threat seriously. He said he had no idea why anyone would threaten his business. Haskett confirmed that even if the bomb threat was a hoax, they will aggressively pursue leads in an attempt to catch those responsible.
Although the threat had passed, The Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe closed early Saturday night. A post to the restaurant’s Facebook page indicates they will be open regular hours Sunday.
Similar bomb threats made in two other North Carolina locales
Manteo Police Chief Vance Haskett says it is too early in the investigation to draw conclusions, but they are aware that bomb threats were made Saturday in other North Carolina locations.
The Manteo bomb threats and bomb threats in Wilmington and Apex were placed through local emergency communication centers Saturday afternoon and evening. The threats prompted police in all three locations to order evacuation of their respective downtown areas while authorities conducted searches. No bombs or explosives were found at any of the areas.
The Wilmington Police Department issued a statement on their Twitter account that read, in part, “similar threats were made to downtown Apex and a restaurant in Manteo Saturday. WPD is investigating any connections.”
The Manteo police chief said “we aren’t jumping to any conclusions” and added that they are following several paths in the investigation.