Man Arrested after Bomb Threat at Teamsters Union Hall
The Trump supporter set a fire & attempted to bomb the hall and county Dem office
A Teamsters local in Spokane, Washington had to deal with a bomb threat today after a crazed Trump supporter attempted to blow up the local Democratic office, which is located within the Teamsters building. Find out more below.
A man who was arrested following an alleged bomb threat at a building housing the Spokane County Democrats' office is facing a first-degree arson charge.
Spokane Police Sgt. Terry Preuninger identified the suspect as Peter Yeager. He is expected to appear in court on Thursday afternoon.
Yeager's address is listed in Coulee City, Preuninger added.
Police said Yeager walked into the Teamsters labor union building on N. Division Street, which serves as headquarters for the Spokane County Democrats, on Wednesday with what appeared to be an explosive device in a backpack.
According to Spokane Police Corporal Ron Van Tassel, the backpack had smoke billowing from it when he left it in the building. Witnesses said the backpack had wires hanging from it
The building was evacuated and a perimeter was established as the bomb squad arrived, Van Tassel said. Ruby and Division streets were blocked for a few hours. Investigators determined there was no explosive device in the bag.
The smoke was caused by a fire set by the man, according to Van Tassel.
Federal law enforcement are aware of the investigation, according to Preuninger.
Officers with the Spokane Police Department told KREM's Nicole Hernandez that the man repeatedly threatened to blow up the building and held one person in an office against their will.
Officers were able to get everyone out of the building safely, according to Preuninger.
The Spokane County Democrats and Washington State Democrats Chair Tina Podlodowski issued the following statement after the incident:
"We are so relieved that no one was harmed in this reprehensible act of violence. Our primary concern is for the safety of our volunteers and the broader community of Spokane. We urge every elected official and community leader to join us in condemning this apparently politically motivated act of violence. No one should have to fear for their life simply because they participate in our political process."
Nicole Bishop, who serves as chair of the Spokane County Democrats, said during an interview on Up with KREM that there were two aspects of the attack that made her feel comfortable connecting it to political motivations. First, the suspect walked directly to the Spokane County Democrats office and forced his way in, she said.
The man also a "manifesto" that he gave to Spokane County Democrats volunteers, Bishop said. One of the volunteers said they could see the words "Democrats" and "Republicans" on the manifesto.
"With all those pieces together, it seems that there's at least some political motivation," she added.