A Los Angeles man who allegedly locked himself inside the backroom of a Palm Desert business with an employee in an incident that also triggered a bomb squad response after a “suspicious device” was located in the suspect’s bag Friday was charged with false imprisonment.
Andrew Campbell, 28, is accused of “yelling and acting erratically” while inside a business in the 44400 block of Town Center Way at about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, then locking himself inside a backroom of the establishment while an employee was inside.
Deputies responded to the scene after receiving calls that Campbell was under the influence and “acting suspicious” at the business, according to sheriff’s Deputy Armando Munoz.
A retired law enforcement officer was able to detain Campbell before deputies arrived, but after his arrest, “a suspicious device was located inside of a bag belonging to Campbell,” Munoz said, prompting a bomb squad response.
The sheriff’s Hazardous Device Team responded and determined that the unidentified device was safe, according to the deputy.
Campbell was charged in two separate cases Friday, one for the alleged false imprisonment and another for possession of a firearm. He also faces sentence enhancing allegations of committing Wednesday’s crimes while free on $10,000 bail in the gun possession case. Court records indicate he was arrested by Cathedral City police on Jan. 3 on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Campbell, who remains held on $30,000 bail, is slated to appear in an Indio courtroom Friday afternoon.
In light of the device found at the scene, the sheriff’s department noted that anyone who finds suspicious devices or objects should only call 911 from non-cellular telephone lines.
“It is recommended to refrain from using a cellular telephone or any other electronic device near and around any suspected explosive device, when possible,” reads a sheriff’s department statement.
–City News Service
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