18, 2007 08:08 pm
LEWISTON: Man arrested
after hospital bomb threat
Officials locked down and partially evacuated
Mount St. Mary’s Wednesday morning
By Aaron Beseckerfirstname.lastname@example.org
A 26-year-old Grand Island man was arrested
Wednesday morning after he allegedly told personnel
at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston he had
multiple bombs inside a gift box.
Scott A. Zientek, 1492 Ferry Road, now faces a
felony charge after his remarks triggered an
emergency lockdown and partial evacuation shortly
before 10:30 a.m.
The emergency procedures were eventually halted
several minutes later after Zientek allegedly
admitted he was kidding when he told a receptionist
he had “a few bombs and some poison” inside a
pink-wrapped box, Lewiston Police Chief Ron Winkley
Zientek, who was visiting a patient in the emergency
room, was charged with falsely reporting a fire or
explosive device in a public building, a D felony.
Hospital spokesman Fred Caso said hospital staff
took the situation very seriously and followed
established procedures in response to the situation.
“We have plans in place for things like this,”
Caso said. “We practice those plans. We review
those plans. Unfortunately, this morning we had to
implement those plans.”
The situation began when Zientek approached a
receptionist in the waiting area of the hospital’s
emergency room asking for a piece of tape for a bow
on his gift box, according to Winkley.
Noticing the 10”-by-14”-box wrapped in pink
paper, the receptionist asked Zientek what was
inside. That’s when he allegedly said it contained
multiple explosive devices and poison.
The receptionist told her supervisor about the
comment and a call was placed to police at 10:21
It was at that point further actions by Zientek
complicated the situation, according to police. The
receptionist, along with other hospital staff, could
not find the man who minutes earlier allegedly made
“When (the receptionist) turned back around he was
gone, but the box was there,” Winkley said.
Zientek, who had gone to visit a friend in the
emergency room, returned minutes later.
The whole incident took about 8 or 9 minutes to play
out, police said.
The box ended up having gifts inside it, according
Lewiston Police Sgt. Frank Previte said the
situation became more complex because of the
assailant’s other suspicious activities in
addition the comment. Those activities included
leaving the scene after the comment was made.
At one point, Zientek asked hospital staff if they
could temporarily keep the box behind their desk,
Law enforcement officials from the Niagara County
Sheriff’s Department and the State Police also
responded to the scene.
Zientek appeared “very remorseful for his
actions” following the incident, Winkley said.
Zientek was arraigned before Town of Porter Justice
David Truesdale. He was sent to the Niagara County
Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail.
He is scheduled to appear in Lewiston Town Court on