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Alleged bomb threat suspect at PeaceHealth St. John pleads not guilty Thursday

St. John Medical Center

PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center in Longview.

A man who allegedly threatened to bomb PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center and suspended admittance to part of the Longview hospital on Sunday pleaded not guilty Thursday in Cowlitz County Superior Court.

Longview officers arrested Brian Webb, 31, of Longview on Sunday after he allegedly texted a person, who was not at the hospital, around 5:30 p.m., saying he was at the facility with a bomb. He was later found in the emergency department waiting room off Kessler Boulevard without any weapons.

The probable cause statement that led to Webb’s arrest states St. John security found Webb in the waiting room with his hands under a blanket and a suitcase next to him. Once the immediate area was evacuated, Longview Police Capt. Branden McNew said one of the department’s mental health professionals talked to Webb until he “willingly went into custody.”

Employees, people in the waiting room and patients in the triage section of the emergency department were evacuated by hospital security without the alleged suspect noticing, McNew said. The probable cause statement says other people inside the hospital were advised to shelter in place.

McNew said the disturbance prevented walk-in patients from entering the emergency room through the Kessler Boulevard entrance for one hour, but patients who arrived by ambulance still were admitted.

The probable cause statement says Webb sent the text to an acquaintance out of love to cure the person. Webb is facing the felony charge of harassment for threatening to kill or cause bodily harm, and the gross misdemeanor of interfering with a health care facility.

Webb is in the Cowlitz County Jail on a $20,000 bond and his trial is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2022.

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