Police and five D.C. City Council members yesterday received a series of bomb threats, one of which caused the council to stop a meeting while a police dog searched for a bomb in the council chamber.
Police found nothing after inspecting the chamber and council offices.
All of the threats were made by telephone, beginning with a 4:29 a.m. call to the police department. Police said six threatening calls were made within a 2 1/2-hour period to the District Building offices of five council members.
Police and council members said that the callers made no reference to any political issue.
Police said the early morning call to the department's communications center came from a man who said bombs would explode at 7 a.m. at the homes of Mayor Marion Barry, Police Chief Maurice T. Turner, Council Chairman David A. Clarke and council member Wilhelmina J. Rolark (D-Ward 8).
Police said they went to the homes of the city officials, conducted searches and found nothing.
"I take anything like this seriously, in view of what is happening nationally and internationally," said Rolark, who said that police received a second call about 9 a.m. and returned to her home for another search.
About 11 a.m., while the council was in session, Clarke suddenly left the room.
He later said that someone had called his office and the office of Nadine P. Winter (D-Ward 6) and indicated that there was a bomb in the District Building. Clarke decided to ask people to leave the chamber for a short time while police searched the room with a dog trained to detect bombs.
While police searched the chamber, Rolark's office received two bomb threats. Later, the offices of council members Hilda Mason (Statehood-At Large) and Frank Smith (D-Ward 1) received threatening calls.
Police officer Phil Clark said that the District Building has received bomb threats in the past, but added that yesterday's calls were unusual. "This is the first time that I've known the person to make this many calls in a short period of time," he said.
Clark said that police believe that all of the calls to the council offices were made by a woman.