Hermiston Police News: Bomb Hoax Leads to Arrest

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On the 30th of November 2015 at approximately 6:25AM, officers of the Hermiston Police Department were dispatched to 217 E Beebe Ave for a purported bomb having been found inside a garbage can. Officers arrived and met with an employee of Sanitary Disposal who located a box inside an open garbage canister that was scheduled for collection. The cardboard box had “this is a bomb” written on the side.

Subsequent investigation led to the arrest of David U. Ponce 23 years old of 217 E Beebe Ave. Mr. Ponce was interviewed and admitted his involvement in trying to play a joke on a relative and even admitted to being the person who contacted the garbage truck driver and alerted him to the box. Mr. Ponce was processed at the Hermiston Police Department before being lodged in the county jail in Pendleton on charges of Disorderly Conduct in the First Degree and Possession of a Hoax Device.

The Hermiston Police Department requested assistance from the Oregon State Police bomb squad to thoroughly examine the cardboard box. A beer bottle was located inside the box. Officers were tied up on this matter for approximately three hours.

“For all the contact we have had over the years with Mr. Ponce (29 arrests and 62 citations) we would hope some common sense would come into his decision making on what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Clearly that was not the case today. There may be some people who question why the police would handle this situation the way we did. In this day and age of reckless behavior, we will err on the side of caution each and every time. We absolutely appreciate the support and expertise the Oregon State Police provided us," reports Chief Jason Edmiston.