Authorities evacuated people from a New Jersey mall Monday night following concerns of a bomb threat. Willowbrook Mall in Wayne was evacuated shortly before its closing time.
According to township police, an “emotional” customer was taken into custody after he told security personnel he found a note in the outer food courts that spoke of a bomb in the premises. The mall is located just outside New York City and boasts of over 170 stores and restaurants.
Police Chief James Clark said that they were unable to verify the existence of the note and the customer had been taken in for a psychiatric examination. Capt. Laurence Martin said the individual seemed distraught and would be charged Tuesday morning. Clark added the evacuation and complete sweep of the mall were “totally precautionary.”
Martin said the customer told security personnel that the note referred to “a bomb or a series of bombs” throughout the mall but the man did not have the note with him and security personnel couldn’t find it after a thorough search.
The man reportedly had “an episode” while being interviewed by the police and was then taken in for a psychiatric evaluation. Martin added that the man “changed his story” while at the hospital.
Passaic County sheriff’s officers arrived at the mall with bomb-sniffing dogs to search the place. “It’s a huge building and it could take awhile,” Martin said. Authorities said they found no bombs in the mall.