HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Deputies arrested a 55-year-old man Sunday after they said he made false bomb threat involving a church.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said Willie Littlefield is facing charges of misuse of 911 and false report of bomb, explosive or weapon of mass destruction. He remains in the Hillsborough County Jail on an $8,000 bond.
Investigators said around 1:30 p.m., Littlefield called 911 and told dispatchers he planted an explosive device in the back of a vehicle at Fellowship Baptist Church. Dispatchers traced the number to Littlefield. Deputies responded to both his home and the church.
Deputies said they located the vehicle at the church with several closed boxes inside.
"One thing I appreciated is the police took it very seriously. It was a little inconveniencing because we couldn’t leave the property because the exit was right by where the car was but they definitely took it very serious and went through their protocol," said Fellowship Baptist Church Senior Pastor Mike Grover.
Grover said about 25 to 30 people who were at the church for a meal following a planning meeting were evacuated.
The sheriff's office said its bomb team also responded and did not find any bombs or explosives in the vehicle, but did find numerous car parts in the boxes.
"My message to the community is you can’t be too careful especially in houses of worship and other public gatherings. So cooperate with law enforcement let them do their job work through it, they’re there to help you and keeping us safe," Grover said.
Investigators said Littlefield admitted to calling 911 to make the false bomb threat.