Imagine visiting Panama City only to be kicked out of your motel room for several hours because two devices that may be bombs have been found in the building.
This was the case early Sunday morning and it was just one many threats local and state investigators had to chase down.
Around 10:30 Saturday night, Panama City police evacuated the Days Inn on West Highway 98 in St. Andrew after there were reports of a bomb inside one of the rooms.
The Tyndall AFB bomb squad was called in and authorities did find two devices, but turns out they were fake explosives and according to police it was all part of an elaborate hoax by a man arrested in Pinellas County in central Florida on Friday.
Pinellas County investigators say 41-year-old Dave Vice spent much of Friday planning hoaxes in Oldsmar, Florida, including another hotel bomb. These weren't boxes with the word “bomb” written on them. These were elaborate devices which is why authorities took the threat at the Days Inn so seriously.
Pinellas County investigators are blaming Vice for a laundry list of hoaxes, putting envelopes with white powder in three mailboxes. The powder turned out to be flour. He put a fake hand grenade in a post office box.
Then there was another fake bomb at the Holiday Inn in Oldsmar. Over this past weekend Panama City police shut down parts of West Highway 98 while they determined if the bomb was real. It wasn't, but Vice will now faces federal charges in Panama City in addition to those in Pinellas County.
This is not the first time Vice has been in trouble with the law. On September 11 of last year, he was arrested for slamming his car into a gate at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.