WILHOIT MAN FOUND GUILTY BY JURY OF MAKING A FALSE REPORT OF A BOMB THREAT
On Friday, May 19, 2023, a Yavapai County Jury found John Aaron Patten, 51, of Wilhoit, Arizona, guilty of Making a False Report of a Terrorist Threat.
On the morning of August 2, 2022, Patten texted 911 and demanded the FBI respond to his location, “or its gonna blow.” About 10 minutes later Patten, a convicted felon, called 911 and made clear his communication was a “bomb threat.” Throughout the day Patten used multiple phones to repeatedly call 911. Dispatchers were forced to deal with Mr. Patten and his threats instead of devoting their valuable time to legitimate 911 callers. The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, a local SWAT team, the Arizona Department of Public Safety Bomb Squad, and local firefighters and paramedics responded to Patten’s location. Patten barricaded himself in a trailer and refused to surrender for over eight hours. As a result of their superb training and skill in responding to barricaded subjects, law enforcement officers ultimately removed Patten from his trailer without injury. A thorough search of Patten’s property revealed that the claimed bomb did not actually exist. Patten later told a Sheriff’s deputy that he had used so much methamphetamine that he did not know what was going on.
Dennis McGrane, Yavapai County Attorney, stated, “I would like to thank the jury for their service, and the law enforcement officers and first responders for their professionalism and dedication in responding to this incident. While this crime did not involve an actual bomb, it did force local law enforcement and emergency response agencies to needlessly expend taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars to safely bring this situation to an end. Mr. Patten’s choice to make a false bomb threat, harass 911 operators, and then barricade himself indoors for the better part of a day kept many local law enforcement officers and first responders from performing their usual duties in our community. The Yavapai County Attorney’s Office will be asking the Court to order Mr. Patten to repay those agencies from his prison wages.”
Sentencing is scheduled for June 12, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. before the Honorable Debra Phelan of the Yavapai County Superior Court. Patten is facing between 7.5 and 25 years in the Arizona State Prison.
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