Knoxville courthouse evacuated after man says he has ‘something special’

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Knoxville Police Department said charges are expected soon for a man arrested a threat at the Howard H. Baker Jr. U.S. Courthouse in Downtown Knoxville.

According to witnesses, the man entered the courthouse in an electric scooter with a satchel attached to his wrist. Officers said he indicated he had “something special” for the employees upstairs, then got off his scooter, sat down on the floor and began spreading papers around himself.

Knoxville Police Department’s Explosive Ordinance Detail, negotiators and a Special Operation Squad responded to the courthouse and helped evacuate the building at approximately 8:04 a.m. Just before 9:00 a.m., the man exited the courthouse, into the courtyard, where officers put him into custody without incident.

Police said the man is being interviews by investigators. No explosive devices were found.

Main Street in front of the courthouse and City County was temporarily closed due to the investigation and has now reopened.

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