Location: 300 block of E. Olive Avenue in Porterville

Incident Date: 6/19/19

Case Number: 19-7523

City: Porterville

Posted by: Media Relations

15-Year-Old Arrested for Calling In Bomb Threat to Porterville Courthouse

(Gustavo Arellano Arevalo)

        

On 6-19-19 at around 8:30 a.m., TCSO Dispatchers received a 911 call from someone saying there was a bomb at the Porterville Court House, which is known as The South County Justice Center in the 300 block of E. Olive Avenue in Porterville. The caller made the statement and then hung up. Someone called the Courthouse shortly before and said the same thing.

Deputies and Officers from the Porterville Police Department immediately responded to the scene to help Court Bailiffs.  They quickly secured the building and began to evacuate everyone inside.  The building was searched by investigators and an (EOD) Explosive Ordinance Detection K9 for anything suspicious, including explosives.  The exterior perimeter, parking lot and nearby areas were also checked with the assistance of the TCSO Drone.

Detectives were able to identify the cell phone carrier and registered owner of the number that called the Court and later served a search warrant at a home in the 300 Block of S. Ash Street in Pixley.  At the home, Detectives arrested 47-year-old Gustavo Arellano Arevalo for obstructing and/or delaying Peace Officers.

Detectives also arrested a 15-year-old boy who, they believe, made the calls. The cell phone used to make the call to the Porterville Court house was found at the home. Arevalo was taken to the Porterville Sheriff’s Substation and booked into custody without incident.  The 15-year-old was taken to the Juvenile Detention Facility and charged with Terrorist Threats and false report of an Emergency. 

No explosive devices were found and no injuries were reported.  The Court remained closed as a result of the threat, but is expected to reopen Thursday morning. 

Anyone with more information is urged to contact Detective Scott O’Neill at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-808-0488 or anonymously at tcso@tipnow.com or by text or voicemail at #559-725-4194.