Resident arrested, hundreds evacuated in retirement home bomb scare


NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — Hundreds of people were forced to leave their units in a South Bay retirement community Thursday after a resident claimed to have a bomb, officials said, though no explosives were initially found.

Authorities responded to a 911 call from Paradise Village Retirement Community, on 4th Street in National City, around 11:30 a.m. Dispatchers learned a resident had claimed to have a bomb and flammable liquids in his unit, according to officials.

Emergency crews arrived to find some kind of chemical smell and a faint haze in an upper floor of one of the facility’s buildings, but no flames, a fire department spokesperson said. Several hundred people were forced to evacuate the community’s units as a precaution while police and the sheriff’s department tried to determined whether there was any danger.

Police said they took the man, who lived in the community with his mother, into custody after he initially tried to escape law enforcement. He was taken to the hospital for treatment after getting bitten by a police dog.

A bomb squad unit made a sweep of the building, some backpacks and the man’s car in a downstairs parking garage, but no explosives had been found as of early Thursday evening, a fire department spokesperson said.

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