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Official: Suspect arrested in Nassau court bomb threats

The Nassau County District Court House was cleared

The Nassau County District Court House was cleared for about 45 minutes Monday after a phoned-in bomb threat. Court spokesman Daniel Bagnuola confirmed the evacuation of the building at 99 Main St., Hempstead. Court employees and visitors were allowed to return about 10:15 a.m. (March 11, 2013) Credit: Lou Minutoli

A man who was set to be sentenced Monday on a DWI charge is accused of calling 911 to falsely report a bomb threat to the district courthouse in Hempstead, a district attorney's spokesman said.

Melbis Hernandez's sentencing was delayed when the courthouse was briefly evacuated, said Chris Munzing, a spokesman for Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice. But now Hernandez, 25, of Hempstead, also is charged with two counts of falsely reporting an incident, a felony, Munzing said.

The Nassau County District Courthouse was evacuated for nearly a half-hour, a court spokesman said.

He was expected to be arraigned on the new charge Tuesday, Munzing said.

His lawyer on the driving while intoxicated charge, for which he faced up to a year in jail, could not be reached Monday evening.

Court officials learned of the threat about 9:30 a.m., and immediately evacuated the approximately 1,200 people in the building, including court staff, visitors and defendants in custody, court spokesman Daniel Bagnuola said. Court officers searched the building, and no suspicious items were found, he said.

Everyone was allowed back into the building about 9:50 a.m., Bagnuola said.

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