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Midway bomb threat suspect charged

The man accused of threatening the Midway Travel Plaza on Highway 40 with a bomb was charged with second-degree making a terrorist threat.

Torrence D. Simmons called Joint Communications to report an “assasination attempt” the morning of Jan. 21, according to court documents filed Tuesday. About 15 minutes later, an employee at Midway Travel Plaza called Joint Communications to report Simmons had placed a backpack near propane takes and lit the backpack on fire.

Simmons also called 911 and reported another “assasination attempt” on his life and that he had an Improvised Explosive Device in his backpack. Simmons told the operator they would need the bomb squad, court documents said.

Once authorities arrived, they were able to detain Simmons by using a shotgun to shoot a beanbag at the man.

After evaluating the backpack, the Columbia Police Deparment bomb squad decided it did not pose a threat, and there was no bomb inside.

Simmons was taken to the hospital for evaluation after the incident and was released on Monday, when he was taken to the Boone County Jail. Simmons has since bonded out of jail.

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