Green Cove Springs, FL

Suspicious backpack found at Clay County Courthouse determined to be safe

Don Johnson

A suspicious backpack that led to the evacuation of the Clay County Courthouse in Green Cove Springs on Tuesday morning was found to be safe after an investigation by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office bomb squad.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office said the backpack owner, who was not identified, had an appearance in court Tuesday morning. He left the backpack behind a newspaper stand at the courthouse because he had a prohibited item in it and did not want to bring it into the courthouse. The sheriff’s office did not identify the prohibited item.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office said the man will not be charged. No one was injured.
Suspicious backpack investigated at Clay County CourthousePhoto courtesy of Clay County Sheriff's Office.

The courthouse was evacuated and roads near the building, including U.S. 17, were closed until the backpack was deemed to be harmless. Several homes and businesses in the area also were evacuated.

The Green Cove Springs Police Department and Clay County Fire Rescue were also called to the scene.

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Veteran journalist with experience in website and newspaper content as an editor and writer. I have worked as a reporter at newspapers and websites in Florida, California and Arkansas. I am a former executive editor at the Tampa Bay Business Journal and worked for 12 years at The Tampa Tribune as an enterprise editor and business editor. At, I produced stories for 24 websites in the Tampa Bay area and also edited content for websites in six states.


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