• Man in custody after making threats while holding package at Ocala church, police say

    By: Kelly Healey


    OCALA, Fla. - A man was taken into custody Thursday outside a church after he made threats while holding a package, Ocala police said.


    Meadowbrook Church on SW 20th Street was evacuated, and Meadowbrook Academy was placed on lockdown while authorities cleared the scene, police said. 


    Someone was at the church and called 911 after they heard the man making threats, police said. 


    The Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the bomb squad were assisting in the investigation.  


    Police said they conducted a security sweep through the church as a precaution, and no explosives were found.


    “It doesn’t appear that there was any direct threat, (but) it’s important that in these cases that we take them seriously,” an Ocala police representative said.  


    Officials said X-rays of the package were inconclusive, so, they blew it up. There were no direct threats made to any individual or to the church.


    Police said the 24-year-old is believed to have a mental health issue and had not taken his medication.


    Officials said he has been Baker-acted in the past. No criminal charges were filed.


    The man’s name has not been released. 

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