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Man Arrested in Connection With Stop & Shop Bomb Threat Evacuation

Middletown Police say a 47-year-old man yelled at them for 'not calling the bomb squad' alongside people ordered out of four stores in a large shopping plaza last month.

Middletown Police
Middletown Police

A Durham man was arrested following a bomb threat that prompted authorities to evacuate an entire shopping plaza on East Main Street last month. 

On Dec. 23 at 3:08 p.m., the Middletown Police Department received a call from a Stop & Shop employee that the grocery store had received a "non-specific" bomb threat to businesses in the plaza, police say.

During the investigation, police overheard a bystander, Dennis Marden, 47, of Cedar Drive, Durham, loudly asking why authorities had not called the bomb squad, according to the report. His actions alarmed people gathered outside who had been evacuated from The Dollar Tree, Marshalls, Bob’s Stores and Stop & Shop as a precaution, police say, any many repeated Marden's words about a bomb as they increasingly became afraid.

The report says Marden refused detectives' requests to leave the area and became increasingly loud and agitated, then refused to be handcuffed, struggled with an officer and both fell onto the pavement. 

He was charged with two counts interfering with an officer and second-degree breach of peace. He's due back in court on Jan. 8.

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