Officials say reports of a man acting oddly and locking himself in a bathroom at Patterson Town Hall caused cops to shut down the area.
The accounts came from employees there, and they "sparked fears of a possible bomb threat," authorities with the said in a statement Friday afternoon.
Police were not releasing the man's identity at that time, and they say their investigation is ongoing. The statement made no mention of any charges being filed.
Initial complaints came in around 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
"Witnesses said they saw the man carry a briefcase into a restroom, lock himself inside for a protracted time, and then emerge without the briefcase in hand," police said. "Employees then found that some tiles in the drop ceiling of the restroom had been dislodged, raising suspicions that the briefcase, and its unknown contents, had been secreted in the ceiling."
At that time, deputies heard "varying" stories from witnesses, which prevented them from determining whether the subject was still inside the building, according to officials.
"Witnesses told authorities that the man had been seen earlier in the afternoon at the Patterson Town Court Building, located across the street from the Town Hall, where he reportedly refused to sign a visitor’s log and made statements suggesting some opposition toward the courts and government, although no specific threats were reported," police said.
The possibility of a threat prompted authorities to call in bomb-sniffing dogs and members of the Countywide Emergency Response Team. That unit is made up of "specially-armed officers" from the Sheriff's Office, Carmel and Kent Police Departments. .
By 8 p.m., the building was secure, police say, and the suspicious man "was no longer in the area."