36°Clear

Sheraton Evacuated Due to Bomb Threat

by ARLnow.com March 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm 6,203 34 Comments

(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) Police are questioning a “person of interest” in connection with a bomb threat at the Sheraton National hotel on S. Orme Street this afternoon.

The building was evacuated around 1:45 p.m. after a bomb threat was phoned in to the hotel. The caller claimed a bomb had been planted on street level and was going to detonate at 3:00 p.m., according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Police shut down S. Orme Street between Columbia Pike and Southgate Road (the entrance to the Marine Corps’ Henderson Hall) as a precaution.

The bomb threat was called in to the hotel on the first day of the Human Capital Management Defense conference. Dozens of attendees of the conference, along with other guests and hotel staff, were evacuated. Scheduled speakers at the conference include a number of Department of Defense and U.S. government officials. There’s no indication the bomb threat was connected with the conference, according to Sternbeck.

Sternbeck said officers stopped a “person of interest” — a guest at the hotel — for questioning after the individual was pointed out to police by hotel staff. That individual is still being questioned, but the evacuees have now being let back into the hotel and S. Orme Street has been reopened.

At least a half dozen bomb sniffing dogs were on scene to assist with a search for any type of explosive device. Pentagon Police and Virginia State Police were also on scene. Sternbeck said the basement, garage and ground floor of the hotel were swept by K-9 units. The floor the person of interest was staying on was also swept, he said.

  • CourthouseChris

    What conference is being held there? That could explain a lot.

    • WeiQiang

      This conference is no different from the dozens of others in Crystal City hotels during the year.

      • drax

        Let us decide that for ourselves.

      • drax

        “Scheduled speakers at the conference include a number of Department of Defense and U.S. government officials.”

        There you go.

        • Tabs

          I don’t mean to jump the gun, or be a Negative Nelly, but I have an awful feeling that the most-recent horror in Afghanistan will have violent consequences here.

          • novasteve

            Jihadists don’t call in bomb threats. They just want to kill people, like they do on a daily basis in Pakistan, afghanistan and iraq.

          • drax

            Exactly – those types don’t want the hotel cleared, they want to blow it up with everyone inside.

          • novasteve

            It is possible if they didn’t have a bomb they would call in a threat knowing the hotel gets evacuated, where they could start shooting people as they exit or congregate. But in general, islamist terrorists don’t provide any warning. Unlike what people in the media say, they don’t want to “scare” you, they want to kill you.

          • CourthouseChris

            [rolls eyes]

        • WeiQiang

          Yes. That’s the line on which I based my comments.

          • CourthouseChris

            So by your logic the tattoo artists convention is no different from a convention that attracts DOD and US Gov speakers.

            http://www.arlnow.com/2012/01/16/morning-notes-389/

            There you go.

          • drax

            Perhaps WeiQuiang meant that every conference in Crystal City has DoD and US Gov speakers.

            Not that this is necessarily true, or that it matters.

          • thecharlesriver

            If it doesnt matter than the area hosts gov/DoD conferences very often (and in much more prominent place)and they don’t get bomb threats, then it doesn’t matter that it’s a DoD conference at this Sheraton. And that was your implication. You do nothing but contradict people in a condescending way and make snide remarks, but your inconsistencies are glaring.

  • DarkHeart

    The Moonies sold that place, right?

    • Tabs

      Yes. Janeane Garafolo incorporated that into her routine at the Drafthouse a few years ago. She was staying there and didn’t realize it was a Moonie hotel until she called down to the front desk to complain about The Washington Times plopped down outside her door.

      • Quoth the Raven

        She actually called to complain about the free paper she received? Wow.

        • Voice of Reason

          Each morning when on business travel I complain to both Marriott and Gannett.

        • Tabs

          You do understand she’s a comedian, right?

          • Quoth the Raven

            I do understand that. Did the front desk clerk who got the call (and who had nothing to do with the paper choice) know that it was their turn to bear the brunt of her humor? Seems like a classless thing to do for a celeb.

          • drax

            You do understand that comedians make up stories for entertainment, right? We don’t even know if she really did this, nor do we care.

          • Quoth the Raven

            I care very deeply.

          • jackson

            Your outrage at a bit by a comedian whose last claim to fame was (I think) that Criminal Minds spinoff that lasted less than a season is pretty amusing.

          • drax

            No, I don’t believe you care deeply about what Janine Garafalo says.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Outrage is a bit strong. I just thought it was a funny story.

        • drax

          I’d complain too. It’s like dumping garbage at my door.

  • stevis23

    Does anyone know if Columbia Pike is closed there too?

    • Tabs

      Yes, per my Arlington Alert on phone.

      • stevis23

        Ah, forgot I had that…says it’s not closed but extremely congested. That prompted me to brainstorm an alternate route for my wife to get around the area and back on the daycare run though. Thanks for the reminder!

        • There were some minor delays but the Pike was never closed nor overly congested.

    • No, it’s not.

  • WeiQiang

    Anyone know if ACPD has re-deployed the SCUBA team to the Sheraton from Donaldson Run?

    • Wilburg

      No the SCUBA team is still cleaning the bottom of the DRRA swimming pool in prep of the opening.

    • Josh S

      Clunk. (lead balloon hitting ground)

  • BoredHouseWife

    everybody was out enjoying the fine weather.

    yuk yuk

×

Subscribe to our mailing list