LARGO, Fla. (CBS Local) — A Florida sheriff’s deputy said he sent a toy bomb to a colleague as a joke, but nobody is laughing.
Authorities say Lt. Joseph Gerretz was in his office at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office administration building Tuesday when he received a package through inner-office mail.
Inside the insulated box was a red cylinder-shaped object with wires protruding from it and a handwritten note with the world “boom.”
Gerretz notified officials of the potential threat and portions of the building were evacuated. A bomb squad from the Tampa Police Department checked everything out and determined the device was a toy.
Once Sheriff Bob Gualtieri sent an agency wide all-clear message, Deputy James Piper, 59, told his supervisor he’d sent the package to Gerretz as a joke.
Piper, who had been with the sheriff’s office for 33 years, promptly resigned.
He was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with planting of hoax bomb, a second-degree felony.