DeFuniak man arrested after calling in bomb threat to church

| June 1, 2010

WALTON COUNTY — A 27-year-old man turned himself in after calling in a bomb threat to St. Margaret's Catholic Church late Sunday evening.

Michael Oparka of Agnes Trail in DeFuniak Springs was charged with making a false bomb report.

The Walton County Sheriff's Office received a call at 8:41 p.m. from a man who said a bomb would go off at 9:30 p.m. inside the church, according to a Sheriff's Office press release.

Deputies responded and began to evacuate parishioners from the church reception hall and parking lot. With assistance from the DeFuniak Springs Police, DeFuniak Springs Fire Department and the Liberty Volunteer Fire Department, traffic was also routed away from the church.

While crews were still at the church, Oparka called and said there was no bomb and that he wanted to turn himself in, the release said. He was arrested at his residence and made his first appearance in court Monday morning, where his bond was set at $3,500.

Church officials told deputies that Oparka had attended services there once or twice and acted strangely, including speaking as if he were a Greek god and asking the priest for his acceptance and respect.

When the priest told Oparka he did not agree, Oparka "became aggravated" and left, claiming he would not be back.

A perimeter around the church was maintained until well after the bomb was supposed to detonate. The church and grounds were searched. No exposive device was found.

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Category: Church Security