"DIY Gone Awry: 'Rubber Bumper' Sparks False Bomb Threat, Prompts Lockdowns, and Evacuations in Tennessee"
In a bizarre turn of events, a Tennessee man's attempt at a do-it-yourself (DIY) "rubber bumper" on his car triggered a false bomb threat, resulting in the lockdown of nearby schools and the evacuation of local businesses. The incident unfolded when police in Murfreesboro responded to a call about a potential bomb at the First Watch restaurant on Tuesday morning.
Upon arriving at the scene, officers discovered a grey sedan in the restaurant's parking lot with two white cloths duct-taped to the passenger side, and wires seemingly running around the front door handle. Fearing the worst, authorities took swift action, evacuating all businesses in the shopping plaza as a precautionary measure.
Leslie Huggins, a witness, recounted the chaos, stating, "They told us there was a bomb threat and basically screamed at us to get out of the building." Meanwhile, several schools in Rutherford County, located five miles away, were placed on lockdown as investigators traced the car's license plate to an address connected to the schools.
The situation took an unexpected turn when a police supervisor contacted the owner of the car, who was among the evacuees and unaware of the commotion his vehicle had caused. The owner explained that the "bomb" was, in fact, his unconventional attempt at a "rubber bumper," utilizing suction cups attached to the passenger side door to prevent dents while parked.
Larry Flowers, a Public Information Officer for the Murfreesboro Police and Fire Departments, expressed the irony of the massive emergency response to what turned out to be a harmless DIY project. The school lockdowns were lifted after the Tennessee Highway Special Operations Unit gave the "all-clear," with no charges filed against the car's owner, as there was no intent to cause harm.
This peculiar incident serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of emergency responses and the need for caution in interpreting unconventional situations. As the community breathed a collective sigh of relief, the event joined a list of peculiar false alarms, including an international flight redirected due to an adult diaper mistaken for a bomb earlier in the month.
As the chaos subsided in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the peculiar episode of a DIY "rubber bumper" culminating in a false bomb threat left the community in a state of both bewilderment and relief. What initially prompted a massive emergency response, with businesses evacuated and schools on lockdown, turned out to be a case of unintended consequences—a car owner's attempt to safeguard against dents sparking an unforeseen series of events.
The irony of the situation was not lost on Larry Flowers, the Public Information Officer, who noted the disproportionality of the response to what ultimately proved to be a harmless DIY project. The evacuated businesses, the locked-down schools, and the concerned community members all found themselves caught in a scenario born out of an innocuous attempt at vehicle protection.
As the Tennessee Highway Special Operations Unit gave the "all-clear" and the lockdowns were lifted, the car owner, standing among the evacuees, learned of the unintentional chaos his DIY endeavor had caused. Importantly, no charges were filed, as there was no malicious intent.
This incident serves as a testament to the importance of clear communication and thorough investigation in emergency situations, emphasizing the need for caution when interpreting seemingly suspicious activities. The community, while perhaps still processing the unusual turn of events, can now reflect on a false alarm that unfolded from the most unexpected of sources—a do-it-yourself solution gone awry.
In the annals of peculiar false alarms, this DIY "rubber bumper" mishap joins the ranks of incidents that remind us of the unpredictable nature of emergency responses and the importance of distinguishing between genuine threats and unintended consequences. As normalcy returns, the community can reflect on a day when a simple attempt at car care briefly held the city at a standstill.