Threatening call sends Thibodaux schools into lockdown, courthouses evacuated

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wwltv.com

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 9 at 5:22 PM

Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
Email: mrodriguez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mrodriguezwwl

THIBODAUX, La.-- There were tense hours on Tuesday in Lafourche Parish, where government buildings were evacuated and schools placed on lockdown, after police said a man called 911 and threatened several facilities.

At South Thibodaux Elementary School, dozens of parents lined up before noon, anxiously awaiting their kids.

"Any parent would be upset," said Connie Couchot, who came to pick up her son.

Thibodaux Police said the call came in around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, in which the unknown man threatened the police department, the school system and other government buildings in Thibodaux.

"This is not something that is routine or how we just know at the end is going to be fake. We take it serious," said Det. David Melancon with the Thibodaux Police Department.

Investigators said the man did not give specifics, but as a precaution, schools in Lafourche Parish went on lockdown. Students described tense moments in class.

"We got a call from the office and said there was a lock down. So, we went into a corner and we sat down," said Michael Couchot, a student at South Thibodaux Elementary, as he left with his mom. "I feel better than I did."

Schools located within Thibodaux issued an early dismissal. The school district mobilized buses to take students home, as some parents waited 30 minutes to pick up their children from school.

"It's just very scary to know that they're sitting in class, they don't know what's going on and the worst could possibly happen," said Shannon Ingle, who picked up her three children shortly after noon.

Not only were the schools placed on lockdown, but several government buildings in Thibodaux were also evacuated, including the courthouse.

"Scary. Very scary," said Jimmy Pitre, who was in the courthouse. "We walked into the courtroom, we sat down and then the Sheriff's officer stood up and told everybody to leave the courtroom and come outside."

K-9 units swept the buildings. City Court reconvened around 1:30 p.m. and the school lockdowns were lifted by the afternoon. All Lafourche Schools will have classes resume on Wednesday. The investigation continues into who made the threatening calls. Anyone with information on the case is being asked to call the Thibodaux Police Department at (985) 446-5021.

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