Leonardtown, Maryland – St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron reports that on May 28, 2014 at 6:46 AM, a citizen called the Emergency Communications Center (ECC) and reported seeing a male subject place a duffle bag under the soda machines inside the McDonald’s restaurant located on Merchant’s Lane in the Leonardtown Center. The subject then walked out of the McDonald’s and was seen near the trash cans before leaving the shopping center on foot heading south along Point Lookout Road.
At 6:49 AM, deputies began arriving on the scene and verified the duffle bag was inside the building. Deputies then immediately evacuated the McDonald’s building and closed the shopping center to vehicle traffic. Additional, deputies attempted to locate the subject who left the duffle bag utilizing the description provided by the witness. Personnel from the State Fire Marshall’s Office were requested to respond to the scene. All other businesses and roadways were also evacuated or closed to traffic. The St. Mary’s County Board of Education was notified of the closures effecting school bus operations. Personnel from the State Fire Marshall’s Office began arriving on the scene at 7:47 AM. At that time, the perimeter’s circumference was increased with the assistance of the State Highway Administration personnel and equipment.
At 8:49 AM, two unrelated witnesses reported hearing a bang and seeing a flash, (earlier in the morning), coming from the gas station (Exxon) located across the street from the McDonald’s. The business and the surrounding area were searched by bomb detecting K9s and nothing was found.
At 8:57 AM, State Fire Marshall’s personnel deployed a robot into the McDonald’s building, which exited with the duffle bag at 9:39 AM.
At 9:40 AM, the subject who left the duffle bag was located in Leonardtown near MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital. Detectives learned the subject worked at the McDonald’s and had hidden his duffle bag under the soda counter because he did not want to take it into the courthouse.
At 10:06 AM, State Fire Marshall’s personnel x-rayed the duffle bag before searching it and no devices were found. The entire area outside of the McDonald’s along with the shopping center were also searched and no devices were found.
By 10:30 AM, all roadways and the Leonardtown Center were re-opened.
Sheriff Tim Cameron and the men and women of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office sincerely thank the State Fire Marshall’s Office and the State Highway Administration for their quick response and assistance with this incident. Most notably, we would like to thank our St. Mary’s County citizens for their vigilance and willingness to report what they see to the Sheriff’s Office. Many of our citizens were inconvenienced and we appreciate your patience and cooperation as well.