Hoax Call Locks Down Reno Rodeo

RENO, NV -It's now being called a hoax, but a bomb threat on the Reno Livestock Events Center, called in Monday afternoon was taken very seriously.

"As law enforcement, we owe it to our community to err on the side of caution," said Deputy Armando Avina with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office.

As law enforcement staged their response outside the events center, people on the inside say they were left in the dark by rodeo officials.

"The event security themselves were just like 'We cant tell you anything,'" said Stephanie Dow, who was setting up her vendor booth inside the carnival area. Dow says everything she knew, she learned online.

"Members of our booth got an alert on their phone through text message from KOLO and we saw that and we were like 'whats goin on,'" said Dow.

Reno Rodeo President John Tipton says they had a good reason for not evacuating the events center.

"You don't want people to panic. If there would have been something found, then yes, there would have been an announcement, there would have been an evacuation," said Tipton.

Just to the south, the county offices were put on lockdown for a short while for the very same reason.

"We have very highly trained professionals that want to make sure we do not create undo panic. Creating panic in a situation like this can be as life threatening as the situation itself," said Katy Simon, Washoe County Manager.

Meanwhile, every bomb sniffing dog in the county was brought in to sweep the massive complex. Finally around two hours later, the facility was given the all-clear.

"Now our investigation is going to turn over to find out if anybody has any type of surveillance as to who called. From that time, from that area, and see if we can identify that person," said Deputy Avina.

The 911 phone call was made from a pay phone at Pine Food and Spirits at 12:44pm Monday afternoon. Police say it was a female's voice on the other end of the line. contact authorities if you have any information.

As for the rest of the rodeo, it will go on and 12 deputies are assigned to make sure it goes on safely.


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