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Text joke leads to courthouse bomb search

June 13, 2012 at 4:52 PM

HOUSTON, June 13 (UPI) -- A Texas woman just released from jury duty was arrested after she jokingly sent a text message asking a co-worker to phone in a bomb threat, authorities said.

Harris County Precinct 1 Assistant Chief J.C. Mosier said Cynthia Ann Creed, 51, had just been released from jury duty Tuesday at the Harris County Courthouse when she sent a text message to a co-worker reading, "Call the courthouse (1201 Congress) Tell them there is a bomb ... Pleeese," the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday.

Creed sent a message about 13 minutes later explaining she was "just kidding," but by that time the co-worker had already alerted police, who cleared the jury room and were searching the building for explosives with bomb-sniffing dogs.

"I am flabbergasted," Mosier said. "I don't know what in the world she was thinking. This is the kind of thing you expect from a 17-year-old teenager, not a 51-year-old woman."

He said he was shocked to learn Creed had just been released from jury duty and was "a block or two down the street" when she sent the first text message.

Mosier said he believes Creed was telling the truth about the incident being a joke.

"I do feel horrible because this is a good woman," he said. "But she made a silly, but serious mistake."

Creed was charged with giving a false report and was ordered held in lieu of $5,000 bail.

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