TAMPA, Fla. – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man who claimed to have a bomb inside his bag at a Walmart in Tampa, officials said.
The incident happened at the Walmart located at 15302 N Nebraska Avenue.
According to authorities, Marcus Woodard, 48, walked quickly inside the store and dropped a black and gray-colored backpack next to the doors.
Employees inside noticed the bag and asked Woodard what was inside it.
According to officials, Woodward stated, “A bomb,” then continued to walk quickly away from the bag before turning around and saying, “It’s just a bag.”
“Woodard never stated that the bag was not a bomb, and all three witnesses to the incident were in immediate fear for their safety,” deputies said.
The bag was taken outside and secured by officials. After deputies interviewed Woodward, the bag was searched by HCSO deputies.
When deputies searched the bag they found nothing suspicious inside. Woodard was arrested for a false report of a bomb, explosive or weapon of mass destruction.
“People should not have to question their safety while shopping or working in a retail store. Marcus Woodard’s statement was especially concerning because just last weekend our deputies arrested a woman who was building a bomb inside another Walmart in our area,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “By now, we all realize as a society that falsely reporting a bomb or a bomb threat is neither funny nor appropriate. Joking or not, you will be arrested.”