A lawyer’s trial bag was left suspiciously along a sidewalk just outside the St Johns County Courthouse this morning, caused Historic City News editor Michael Gold, and other reporters attending the McIntosh sentencing to be detained at a safe distance while the item was cleared.
No robot was called, however, a St Johns County Sheriff’s K-9 deputy, trained to alert on explosives, eventually gave the all clear about 30 minutes after the discovery was made.
“The First Coast News photographer’s SUV was parked right next to the bag,” Gold reported. “We stood by while he called into his news desk to inform them that he was going to be a little late — and his vehicle might get blown up.”
St Augustine Record reporter Douglas Jordan and photographer Daron Dean were also held up while the K-9 deputy and his handler determined that it was safe to inspect the inside of the black bag on wheels with its pull-along handle.
“It has a lot of people’s names on it,” one of the deputies remarked; referring to the law firm whose name was embossed on the outside of the bag.
Support Services Sergeant Kim Bucher, who leads the section that provides security to the St Johns County Judicial Complex, confirmed for Historic City News that the bag only contained harmless papers. No word on why it was abandoned in the parking lot.