PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff's detectives arrested a Port Charlotte man Wednesday who sent a Facebook comment to his “friends” stating there was a bomb at Town Center Mall. Vincent Lorenzo Barney, 29, was arrested on the felony charge of a False Bomb Threat.
Fortunately, an out of state caller who is “friends” with Barney immediately called CCSO. Deputies and Charlotte County Fire/EMS responded to the mall and mall security began evacuating employees and shoppers. CCSO Communications ran a check for Barney’s name and obtained his home address. Detectives responded to his home and met with him at his front door. They advised him about being informed of a comment on Facebook about a bomb in the mall. Barney denied posting any comment like that on Facebook and said he was not currently using his Facebook account.
Barney then allowed detectives into his home and was taken to his bedroom where the computer was located. Detectives said the computer was on with Facebook displayed and observed he was logged in and could see his post, “There’s a bomb in the mall” on the screen. Detectives told him they needed to know if there was a bomb in the mall to prevent people from being injured. He advised there was no bomb and said he posted the comment because he was depressed, stressed out, and unable to find a job.
Barney was arrested and transported to the Charlotte County Jail where he remains on $5,000 bond. The facts were presented to mall management and security and at 12:52 p.m. they allowed employees and shoppers back in the mall.