Jasper police and members of the Jasper Fire Department secured the scene, while the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad investigated the suspicious box sitting just outside the front door of the JPD.
Despite being X-rayed by members of the bomb squad, the contents of the package could not be determined, Jasper police chief Danny Patton said. He added that a small explosion was set off to open the package, and an electronic device was found inside. Patton said bomb squad members used a water cannon to destroy what police believe to have been a portable DVD player.
“It was not an explosive device, and we are happy of that,” Patton said. “After it was opened, it was obvious there was some sort of electronics and the water cannon was used as a precaution to separate the device.”
Patton said the ordeal started before noon when Danny Swindle, 49, of Jasper entered the Jasper Police Department holding the package. Patton said Swindle was extremely loud and screamed profanities inside the police department.
“He was being unruly,” Patton said. “When clerks tried to talk to him, he ignored them.”
Patton said the man then left the package in the hallway of the police department and stormed out of the building. A police department employee picked up the box and moved it outside the building.
“Given the fact that this man was highly irritated and that it was a Christmas present in September, we had to handle this situation as if there was a bomb inside the box,” Patton said.
Members of the Jasper Police Department Narcotics Division located Swindle Thursday afternoon and took him into custody. Patton said Swindle became violent when officers approached him.
“He made many threats and fought the officers,” Patton said.
During their investigation, police found out Swindle had similar outbursts in other locations across Jasper Thursday morning.
“We’ve talked to people at several different places,” Patton said. “He had outbursts at each place, but he didn’t have the package with him. He only brought it to the police department as far as we can tell at this point.”
Patton said Swindle is being held in the Jasper City Jail and could face several charges including disorderly conduct, resisisting arrest and interfering with government operations. Patton said Swindle may also face federal charges.
“This was a very serious situation, and I’m thankful no one was injured,” Patton said. “All agencies involved did a great job. We appreciate the help from the Jefferson County Bomb Squad.”