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Military vet and teacher arrested for bomb threat

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

(Photo)
William Adams
Why did a Cherokee Village man make a bomb threat, which resulted in the evacuation and search of four area high schools?

That, according to Fulton County Sheriff Buck Foley, is an unanswered question.

William Adams, 66, has a long record of service to his country and communities where he has lived. "He has never been in trouble. He spent 21 years in the military, and 18 years as a school teacher," Foley said. The Sheriff did not know where Adams taught school.

The 911 call, which caused the evacuations and sent police and other first responders into action, was received at the sheriff's office at 7:29 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11. According to the sheriff, the caller stated, "three bombs in the high school" and hung up.

Since the call did not name a specific high school, the decision was made to evacuate and search all three Fulton County High Schools -- Salem, Viola and Mammoth Spring. Because dispatch could see the call came from a tower on Nine Mile Ridge, which is near the Fulton and Sharp County line, Highland school officials were contacted, and also decided to take steps to protect students and staff members.

According to Foley, dispatch not only determined the tower site, it could see the call was made on a cell phone and the number of the cell phone.

After schools were searched and students were allowed to return, Fulton County Investigator Joe Boshears, Arkansas State Police Special Agent Wendel Jines, Salem Police Chief Shad Overman, Izard County Investigator Charlie Melton and several Federal agencies went to work.

After pinpointing that Adams was the owner of the phone that was used to make the bomb threat, Jines went to Adams' home on Skyline Drive in Cherokee Village and talked to Adams, who was taken to the Hardy Police Department for a formal interview.

Jines and Chief Deputy Al Roork conducted the interview and, after it was determined Fulton County had jurisdiction over the incident, Roork placed Adams under arrest, based on probable cause that he had committed a felony.

Adams was taken to the Fulton County Jail, where he was charged with Falsely Communicating a Terroristic Threat, a Class B felony.

Adams then appeared before District Judge Jim Short who set bond at $200,000.

According to the sheriff, Adams told investigators that he had no memory of making the bomb threat call. "After he heard the actual 911 call, he said, 'That's me,'" Foley said.

While Adams is being held in the Fulton County Jail, his family is trying to arrange for mental health treatment for him. One source said that Adams had not been taking medicine he had been prescribed, and that could have led to his behavior.

Adams is to appear before Circuit Court Judge Tim Weaver on Jan. 2, 2013.

Sheriff Foley praised investigators for quick action in the case saying the arrest was, "the result of several experienced and knowledgeable police officers, acting together as a team, combining resources, and bringing this investigation to a quick and safe end."



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