Fake Bomb Device Found At Ocala Movie Theater Belonged To UCF Student
The bomb device, which was discovered in an Ocala movie theater parking lot late Saturday afternoon, was not a real explosive. The hoax device belonged to a UCF student, who was working on a college project.
The Hollywood 16 Theaters, which is located at 2801 SW 27th Avenue, was evacuated just before 4 p.m. Saturday after citizens reported seeing several sticks of dynamite taped together with wires coming out of them and attached to a timer in the seat of a black Toyota pick-up truck in the movie theater parking lot.
Ocala Police Department Sgt. Angy Scroble said they initially questioned two males, who told them the device was fake and was for a class assignment. The Ocala Police Department later confirmed this after contacting the Orange County Sheriff's Office and the UCF instructor.
Matthew Pye, 19, the owner of the Toyota pickup, was arrested and charged with one count of manufacture, possession and display of a hoax weapon of mass destruction, which is a second degree felony. His friend was later released. Both are Ocala residents.
Marion County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad and Ocala Fire Rescue also responded to the scene.
The movie theater and several area businesses were closed for several hours Saturday afternoon and evening.
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