Baltimore County Police on Monday arrested a suspect in the case of a toilet left in front of the Old Courthouse in Towson.
The incident on Feb. 7 led police to close roads about a block in every direction while investigators determined if the device was dangerous — but the toilet turned out not to be a bomb.
Police responded shortly after 8 a.m. to a suspected bomb on the sidewalk in front of the Old Courthouse, about 20 feet from Washington Avenue.
A security guard at the courthouse saw the toilet and notified police, said Lt. Robert McCullough, a police spokesman.
The white ceramic toilet “contained some type of electronic device, along with a cell phone and some notes,” he said. “Our standard procedure is to take every precaution.”
The toilet appeared to be adorned with a scrap of newspaper, as well as a piece of cardboard with a message written on it.
McCullough didn’t share the content of the notes on the toilet, but on Tuesday he said county detectives arrested Duane Gerald Davis Sr. at his home in North Baltimore in connection with the incident.
“He’s charged with placing a phony destructive device and for making false statements concerning the device,” McCullough said.
Davis was being held on $200,000 at the Baltimore County Detention Center midday Feb. 8, but McCullough said he expected Davis to have a bail review hearing sometime that afternoon. Court documents stated that a’ preliminary hearing in Baltimore County Criminal District Court is scheduled for March 4.
On Monday, during the initial incident, people stood behind police tape on West Pennsylvania Avenue watching a bomb squad technician in a thick protective suit approach the toilet around 11 a.m.
A remote-controlled bomb-squad robot and bomb-sniffing dog were also used earlier in an attempt to determine if the toilet contained an explosive device.
Police determined there was no danger, and by noon, the bomb squad truck and police road blocks had cleared out. Follow Jay R. Thompson on Twitter