On Monday, Oct. 19, at 8:02 a.m., the Austin County Sheriff’s Office received a call for service regarding a suspicious bag located at the Austin County Justice of the Peace Office building (Precinct 4) in Wallis.
When deputies arrived to investigate, they noticed a backpack chained to the front door of the building with the zippers of the backpack stitched together preventing the bag from being opened. As a precautionary measure, deputies immediately established a perimeter and evacuated all residences in a one-block radius.
The Houston Police Department Bomb Squad was contacted and responded to assist with the investigation. Once on scene, HPD bomb squad technicians removed the device from the building and determined the backpack did not contain any dangerous materials.
A local man was detained at the scene since deputies discovered he was the person who placed the bag at the county building. The man was ultimately transported by deputies to Memorial Hermann Katy for a mental health evaluation.
BNSF railroad authorities, at the direction of deputies, closed the nearby rail line until the “all clear” was given at approximately 11 a.m. Austin County EMS, Wallis Fire along with Austin County Constable James Clark responded and assisted at the scene.