A Florida man is behind bars after authorities say he drove more than 10 hours to Alabama amid threats he made to the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office that included explosives.
The threats ended in a standoff on Interstate 65 just south of the Tennessee River Bridge. Traffic was shut down in both directions for more than an hour.
Sheriff’s officials on Monday identified the man as Michael David Kinney of Orange City, Florida. The 50-year-old is being held in the Limestone County Jail.
The ordeal began about 1 p.m. when the sheriff’s office was notified that Kinney was traveling to Athens after making threats directed at the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office. At that point, Kinney was in Jacksonville, FL., which is abut an hour in the 670-mile trip.
Authorities said Kinney had previous interaction with the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office in 2015, when he lived in the county.
“Based on the concerns of those in Florida, and the specific threats made, the Limestone County Investigations Division requested the assistance of our local FBI, ATF, and ALEA Fusion Center partners,’’ according to a Monday news release. “A statewide notification message was broadcasted to law enforcement across the state, to use caution if contact was made with Mr. Kinney, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.”
About 8 p.m., Alabama state troopers spotted Kinney’s vehicle on I-65 in Morgan County. Troopers, along with Limestone, Madison, and Morgan county deputies and police officers from Athens, Decatur, Priceville and Cullman, stopped Kinney on the interstate.
ATF bomb technicians rendered the vehicle safe after Kinney was taken into custody.
Kinney is charged with making a terrorist threat. He is being held without bond.
“Yesterday was a great example of the outstanding law enforcement partnerships we share across the state,” said Limestone Sheriff Joshua McLaughlin. “Always remember, if you see something, say something, you might very well save a life.”
The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office ended their press release with the following statements and links:
“Over 1.7 million Veterans received mental health services at VA last year. You can call 877-222-8387 to find the right resources for your needs. If you have hearing loss, call TTY: 800-877-8339.
The BeThere peer assistance program, in partnership with Military OneSource, offers support to service members (including National Guard soldiers and Reservists), their families, and transitioning Veterans up to 365 days after separation or retirement. Through this program, you can talk privately with peer coaches who are Veterans, service members, or military spouses. https://www.va.gov/…/health-needs…/mental-health/
To talk with a peer coach, call Military OneSource’s free, confidential peer support services at 800-342-9647. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This 24/7, 365-day-a-year emergency mental health hotline offers support for people experiencing a mental health crisis. Call 800-273-8255 or start a chat online at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org.”