EUSTIS — A Eustis man was arrested Tuesday morning after allegedly making false bomb threats at the Save-a-Lot, Big Lots, and Aldi in Eustis.
According to an arrest report, deputies with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office received a call at 9:38 a.m. on Tuesday morning from an unknown man.
The unidentified man told dispatchers that he “heard there was going to be a bomb at Save-a-Lot, Aldi, and Big Lots in Eustis”.
After receiving the call, officers pinged the cell phone the call came from which led officers to a home near South Bay Street in Eustis.
Deputies then contacted the phone carrier and obtained the registered user’s information leading them to 59-year-old Michael Howes.
After canvassing the area the phone was pinged in, deputies found Howes and questioned him about the calls.
Howes denied making the calls and stated that he had not made a call from his phone since Monday night.
During their questioning, deputies placed a call to the phone number that the original 911 call came from and Howes’s phone began to ring in his pocket.
After contacting the phone carrier a second time, deputies obtained a call history showing that Howes’s phone was used to place a 911 call during the time in question.
Howes continued to deny that he made that call.
Agents with the phone carrier and members of the Lake County Communications Departments tech team both advised that it was very unlikely that someone was able to “spoof” or “ghost” the call.
Howes was arrested and charged with making a false statement concerning a bomb or explosive.
Howes was transported to the Lake County Jail where he remains in lieu of a $2,000 bond.
He is scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. on November 5.