North Augusta man charged with making bomb threat in Aiken
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - A North Augusta man was charged this week for threatening to bomb a bus in Aiken.
Forest Ward Smith, 62, of North Augusta was charged on Thursday with making a bomb threat or convey false information about a bomb threat, according to arrest records.
On Wednesday, the Aiken Department of Public Safety responded to the Aiken Council of Aging, located at 159 Morgan Street NW in Aiken, in reference to a bomb threat, an incident report states.
Authorities spoke to a witness who reportedly took the call from the suspect of the bomb threat around 5:30 p.m.
The suspect asked the witness if she is white or Black. When the witness responded she is white, the suspect then used a racial slur and threatened to bomb one of the center’s buses.
“The suspect then stated, ‘I hate ------- and I’m gonna put a bomb on your Best Friend Express bus tomorrow,” the incident report reads.
Best Friend Express is Aiken County’s public transit service, according to its website. The green and white buses operate throughout 170 miles of the Aiken urbanized area every Monday through Friday.
The suspect reportedly then hung up the phone. The facility said the call was similar to a call placed earlier that morning which was racially motivated but did not include a bomb threat.
Authorities quickly alerted different routes of the Best Friends Express and checked all buses at the Aiken Aging Center’s bus station with a bomb dog.
Officers were able to locate information from the phone number the call came from and discovered it was based in North Augusta. Smith was later identified to be the caller and was charged.
Smith is currently being held in the Aiken County detention center as of Friday afternoon.
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