Shoppers at a Publix store in Spring Hill were evacuated after a man announced that he had a bomb strapped to his body.
According to Denise Moloney, public relations manager for the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) shortly after 12:30 pm on Oct. 6 deputies responded to a call that a man wrapped in a blanket told associates at the Publix store at 4158 Mariner Blvd. in Spring Hill that he had a bomb strapped to his body. According to the caller, the man announced that the concealed bomb would explode in 10 minutes time.
The man stayed in the store for a short time and spoke with various managers before walking out the front door, Moloney said.
Afterward, managers evacuated the store in case the man had left an explosive device behind.
Store personnel also notified operators of surrounding stores so that they could evacuate the premises, Moloney said.
Responding deputies found the man outside the store. A body search revealed that he was not carrying a bomb nor any other suspicious device.
They subsequently arrested 22-year-old Andres Miguel Alonso.
Meanwhile, deputies conducted extensive searches of the store and its roof, but found no explosive or incendiary material there.
After the searches, Publix employees and shoppers were allowed to reenter the store.
Alonso was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on a charge of making a false report about bomb.
His case is pending.