On Sunday, May 11, 2014, deputies received a phone call stating that an unknown person had made numerous phone calls to the complainant’s residence at which time he engaged in an argument with the caller. The caller told the complainant to go check his mailbox. Upon checking the mailbox, a letter was located and opened by the complainant. The letter stated that there was a bomb placed at the court house located in DeFuniak Springs, FL. The letter further stated “location is where everybody gets Justice handed down Justice will be handed down today this bomb is going to go off Between the hours of 7:00am and 3:00pm Monday, May 12, 2014 this bomb ant intended to hurt the Innocent just the Guilty.”
Bay County Bomb squad responded to the courthouse, cleared the building and found no sign of a bomb located inside.
Investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and were able to trace the number back to a Mr. Lonnie Dion Peterson, 37, of 105 Canary Drive, Freeport, FL. An interview was conducted and Peterson admitted that he wrote the letter. When asked why he wrote the letter, he stated “he was under a lot of stress.” Peterson was scheduled to appear in court today, Monday, May 12, 2014, on an unrelated charge.
Peterson is charged with false report of a bomb / explosive device.