West Chester Twp. bomb threat: What happened over the past 5 days

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Preliminary autopsy results show a Franklin man who was accused of making a bomb threat in West Chester Twp. last week hung himself in the Butler County Jail on Sunday night

The Butler County Coroner’s Office report indicates Travis Goad, 33, died from an apparent suicide at at about 1 a.m. Butler County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer confirmed the incident.

“We had an incident in the jail over the weekend an individual hung himself,” Dwyer told the Journal-News. “We’re conducting an investigation. He was processed at booking and eventually made it into our forensics pod and he was found kneeling or leaning and we were unsuccessful in reviving him.”

Dwyer said Goad had been placed in the section of the jail where they “house people that have special needs to make further assessment.”

West Chester Police Chief Joel Herzog told the Journal-News Goad walked into the police station Friday and announced he had placed a bomb in a vehicle at AstraZenica.

“As we interacted with him he actually stated he had a device in a vehicle at AstraZenica,” Herzog told the Journal-News. “At some point he went on to say that it was at Walgreens and we located the vehicle right away at Walgreens.”

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He said they spoke with Goad for several hours before arresting him.

“I can’t go into details as far as what issues he was exhibiting, but it did come as an extreme shock to us when we found out he had died in jail,” he said.

Goad was charged with two felonies, making false alarms and inducing panic on Friday evening and was booked into the jail. Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said it appears these were low-level felonies.

Dwyer said jail suicides are not uncommon, especially in a facility that houses up to 1,000 inmates.

“We do everything we can to try and prevent issues like this,” Dwyer said. “Unfortunately if you look around the country it’s a difficult issue to manage in a correctional environment. If somebody is bent on doing that it’s almost impossible to stop.”

A large contingent of West Chester police and fire personnel flooded the scene on Friday afternoon and immediately blocked off the busy intersection at Union Centre Boulevard and Ohio 747. The Butler County Bomb Squad deployed a robot to search the large white van first, then an emergency responder entered the vehicle and exited about five minutes later and took off his protective gear. The intersection reopened almost immediately.

“The robot can see and has the ability to detonate packages,” Dwyer said. “It’s just a tool that is used for safety and you can do it remotely... Once you’ve done everything you can to view remotely, you’re eventually going to have to take some kind ancillary action to actually determine there is no bomb there.”

West Chester Fire Chief Rick Prinz said he had about 15 of his crew on the scene in case a bomb was found and exploded.

The chief said it was a coordinated effort they train and are prepared for every day. Herzog said they will continue to investigate the incident.

“We’re sincerely sorry for the loss of life or any loss of life,” Prinz said about the suicide. “It’s a tragedy what happened.”

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