A Stock Island man upset over a suspended driver's license for allegedly failing to pay child support caused a brief scare Friday when he said he wanted to blow up government offices, according to Monroe County and Key West officials.
Multiple offices in Habana Plaza, 3100 Flagler Ave., and the Florida state building in Marathon, 2769 Overseas Highway, were briefly evacuated about 12:30 p.m., but employees were allowed to return to work quickly after police cleared both areas, said Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Deputy Becky Herrin.
Key West Police and the Sheriff's Office worked together to apprehend Steven Hamley, 53, who faces a felony charge of making a bomb threat, first threatening to blow
Hamley was in the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DMV) office on South Roosevelt Boulevard in Key West at 12:30 p.m. after having learned that his license had been suspended during a traffic stop the night before on Stock Island, according to a press release.
Hamley went to the DMV to get his license reinstated, but while there, he was told it had been suspended for failure to pay child support, Herrin said. Hamley then allegedly told the clerk he would like to blow up the Child Support Enforcement offices in Marathon.
Employees at the DMV told him to leave the office and he did, returning a few minutes later to apologize. Employees told Hamley to leave again and then called police.
Deputies responded to the threatened building in Marathon, where they removed employees from the building and checked it for any suspicious packages or explosives. Finding none, they allowed everyone back inside, according to the press release.
In the meantime, Key West firefighters began removing people from Habana Plaza, which formerly housed a child services office, but police arrived and told people to return to work. Everyone was allowed back in the offices shortly after 12:30 p.m., said Key West police spokeswoman Alyson Crean.
Meanwhile, Sheriff's dispatchers were able to track down a cell phone number for Hamley and gave the number to a detective who called Hamley and asked him to meet him somewhere so they could talk.
Hamley met the detective near Eagle Avenue and was taken into custody about 45 minutes after making the alleged comments.
Hamley reportedly apologized again and was taken to Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island.
No bomb squad or SWAT officers were called during the incident, Herrin said.
"Obviously, with everything going on in the national news, it's not a good time to lose control and make jokes or threats about bombs," Herrin said. "And with the recent reports we've had here everyone is a little tense and aware."