"E-Money" Back to the Slammer

 

Bomb Threat Suspect Back Behind Bars

 

Friday, February 1, 2019 - WLBG on-line

A Clinton man has been returned to the Johnson Detention Center to await trial for two counts of Making Bomb Threats. Now 30-year-old Eric Rico Hill of 304 Bailey Street, Clinton was arrested late last March on charges of making Bomb Threats to the Laurens County Memorial Hospital and a nearby doctor’s office. Judge R. Lawton McIntosh issued a court order that Hill be brought back into custody to await his day in court, due to failing to reside at the address his release on bond required him to live. Eric Rico Hill, also known as “Leon Sims” and “E-Money,” is now in the Johnson Detention Center, pending his court appearance.

 

The Chronicle April 4, 2018:

 

GHS Statement: “Phenomenal Response”

 

Clinton man arrested for, again, making bomb threats

 

By Vic MacDonald

Editor

 

“E-Money” is back in jail after authorities leveled a second offense bomb threat charge against him, following a three-hour evacuation Thursday of GHS Laurens County Memorial Hospital.

Eric Rico Hill is accused of issuing a bomb threat to Palmetto Bone & Joint in Clinton and to the Laurens County hospital, which has been operated by the Greenville Health System for the past five years. Self Medical Center in Newberry also was threatened, and Newberry authorities searched there and at the Newberry Palmetto Bone & Joint office.

No one was immediately available Thursday to talk about the hospital bomb threat.

The evacuation lasting from about 9 a.m. until noon. Authorities later issued statements.

The Hillcrest Square courthouse received a bomb threat at 2 p.m. Thursday, and was evacuated. Hill is not charged with issuing that threat.

An on-line report said Hill, aka Leon Sims and E-Money, was arrested and charged in 2014 with making a bomb threat against the NHC assisted living facility in Laurens.

Laurens County Sheriff Don Reynolds said in a statement, “I am extremely proud of the investigators and deputies of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office. Since these events unfolded, the men and woman at the Sheriff’s Office has worked nonstop to make an arrest.”  

Reynolds said the Sheriff’s Office was assisted by SLED, Clinton Public Safety and the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office in searching the premises.     

The LCSO statement said the first call for assistance came in at 9:02 a.m. from Palmetto Bone and Joint Clinic, 22971 Highway 76 East, Clinton, and the employees and patients evacuated the building. The next call was received at 9:05 from GHS Laurens Memorial Hospital, 22725 Highway 76 East, Clinton, and the caller said the hospital also contained a bomb. The statement said, “Moments later, first responders arrived on scene and it was determined by hospital personnel to evacuate the building. After a detailed search of both locations, deputies did not locate a bomb or any objects foreign in nature.  Employees and patients could return to their respective businesses.”

The next call came at 2:11 p.m. when deputies received a Crime Stoppers tip which implied that a bomb was located at the Laurens County Courthouse - Hillcrest Square. The premises was evacuated, the statement said, and deputies did not locate anything suspicious or foreign in nature.   

The statement said, “After a detailed investigation, investigators have placed 29-year-old Eric Rico Hill of 304 Bailey Street, Clinton, under arrest for making bomb threats. A preliminary investigation reveals that Rico Hill was responsible for making threatening calls to the Palmetto Bone and Joint Clinic and the GHS Laurens Memorial Hospital. Deputies are still actively investigation the threats made to the Laurens County Courthouse.”

The hospital said more than 40 patients were evacuated.

They were re-located under tents a few yards from the LCMH front door. 

Some patients were placed in GHS ambulances. As the patients went back inside, these ambulances left the Laurens County Medical Campus. 

The initial GHS statement about the Laurens hospital bomb threat said, “Out of extreme caution, Laurens County Memorial Hospital evacuated approximately 43 patients Thursday morning after receiving a bomb threat at  9 a.m. The evacuation lasted approximately three hours, with patients and staff cleared to re-enter the building just before noon.

 “During the evacuation, patients continued to receive care on hospital grounds, where tents were set up, or in ambulances. No surgeries were underway at the time of the evacuation. The State Law Enforcement Division, Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and GHS Police Department are investigating the threat.”

An in-house de-briefing was done at 1:30 p.m., and the subsequent Greenville Health System statement said, “Today we experienced a tremendous response from community, staff, patients and their loved ones during and until the end of our bomb threat situation.”

Justin Benfield, regional chief operating officer for  Greenville Health System, said, “Of special note was the phenomenal response by our community partners including the sheriff’s office, Laurens County EMS, Clinton police and fire departments, GHS Mobile Care and emergency responders from Spartanburg County. Because of emergency preparedness efforts led by GHS and  Laurens County officials, the process went well and smoothly. We could not have been more proud of the professionalism of our employees and physicians as they all carried out their responsibilities and followed our protocols. Finally, special thanks also go to local businesses including Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut and Dempsey’s Pizza for feeding our staff and community helpers, Laurens County Vocational Rehabilitation for ample water supplies, and to Gray Funeral Home for providing tents for patients and staff.”

In Newberry, authorities responded at 9:06 a.m. to a bomb threat inside Self Medical Center, Newberry (the atrium), 2605 Kinard St. The Newberry Observer reported that Palmetto Bone & Joint in Laurens County reported a bomb threat message on the business answering machine. The threat made a reference to the business’ Newberry location, the report said.

An ongoing investigation involves the Newberry Police Department, Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and the Clinton Department of Public Safety, the report said. “My investigators will be working with these agencies to bring charges against the person responsible for this incident,” said Newberry Police Chief Roy McClurkin, before authorities announced Rico Hill’s arrest. 

“Members took their time to search the premises and gather information as well as utilizing state and local resources of a K-9 unit,” Newberry Fire Chief Keith Minick said. “We appreciate the public being patient as we worked through the process to keep them safe until they were cleared to return to the building and parking lot to retrieve items.”

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