Wilmington man arrested following bomb threat at Waffle House

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Deputies on the scene of an alleged bomb threat at a Waffle House in the Monkey Junction area on Wednesday. Photo by Christina Haley.
Deputies on the scene of an alleged bomb threat at a Waffle House in the Monkey Junction area on Wednesday. Photo by Christina Haley.

Detectives with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office have arrested a suspect after a bomb threat and suspicious package was found at a Waffle House in the Monkey Junction area of the county.

A man walked into the Waffle House at 5309 South College Road and claimed that a package he had on a table was a bomb, just after 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to sheriff’s office spokesman Lt. Jerry Brewer. Deputies responded to the scene with the sheriff’s office emergency ordinance disposal (EOD) unit.

The EOD unit’s robot took the package from inside the business and “disrupted” the package outside of the building, Brewer said. Waffle House and two surrounding buildings were evacuated during the process.

The package was not lethal and contained trash and metal, Brewer said. Deputies arrested 38-year-old Michael Nolan Leonard, of Brewster Lane in Wilmington. A subsequent search of the suspect’s car, a yellow Honda sedan, was conducted outside the restaurant, but nothing lethal was found inside.

Michael Nolan Leonard
Michael Nolan Leonard

Detectives also executed a search warrant at Leonard’s home, which was “void of any explosive items,” Brewer said.

According to jail records, Leonard has been charged with communicating threats, hoax by false bomb or other device, and a false bomb report. He was booked at the New Hanover County Jail under a $100,000 secured bond.