Hidalgo County courthouse evacuated

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POSTED: Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 4:20pm

UPDATED: Friday, December 20, 2013 - 10:00am

Hundreds of people were stuck outside for nearly two hours Thursday before authorities gave the all clear for them to re-enter the Hidalgo County courthouse. 

Somebody had called in a bomb threat. And the Sheriff's office must investigate every threat, no matter how often it happens. 

"We've had so many that have been a waste of time for the County and a waste of taxpayers' dollars and all the manhours we lose from doing our work," Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra said.   

The Sheriff's deputies must go through every room and office; and look for any suspicious packages. The District Attorney says bomb threats typically come in after court verdicts are announced.  He estimates that there have been four or five bomb threats this year. 

"It messes up everybody's day," Guerra said. "Including all our employees and all these people here working law enforcement. They're tied up doing the security work."

Not only do events like these strain resources like law enforcement and fire departments, but it suspends court dockets as well, causing major inconveniences. 

"It's a waste of time," said Daniel Ramirez, who had to show in court on Thursday. "I live in Austin, so I came all the way over here for this thing. So I'm going to have to go back and come back in a like a month and a half."

Ramirez had to be in court at 9 a.m., just after the evacuation began.  His lawyer told him to stay until the evacuation was lifted, and go back inside to reschedule.  

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