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Fargo police arrest woman in MeritCare bomb threat

Fargo police arrested a woman for allegedly making a bomb threat Monday to MeritCare Hospital. Kathleen Joyce, 54, of Fargo was arrested on suspicion of terrorizing, a Class C felony, Sgt.

Fargo police arrested a woman for allegedly making a bomb threat Monday to MeritCare Hospital.

Kathleen Joyce, 54, of Fargo was arrested on suspicion of terrorizing, a Class C felony, Sgt. Jeff Skuza said.

Joyce called MeritCare to complain about services she had received at the clinic, and when she was told that the person she wanted to speak to wasn't available, she made a threat, Skuza said.

"A bomb was mentioned," he said, declining to be more specific.

The police dispatch log stated that the caller told the MeritCare employee that a bomb would be deployed at the South University Drive location in 36 hours.

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But hospital spokeswoman Carrie Haug said that "based on what the caller said, our assumption was that the threat was to the downtown campus."

MeritCare notified police about the call at 5:27 p.m. Monday. Joyce was arrested at her apartment at 5231 Amber Valley Parkway S. and booked into the Cass County Jail, Skuza said.

MeritCare issued a statement Tuesday afternoon saying it had put its emergency plans into place and that patient care wasn't disrupted during the incident.

"While we are thankful that it was quickly determined that the threat was a hoax, the potential risk to employees and patients is something that we take very seriously," the statement said. "We are fully cooperating with police and feel that this type of behavior should not be tolerated."

Skuza said it's common for police to make arrests in cases where people call and threaten to blow up buildings, because the suspects are often easily identified.

In August, a former MeritCare employee who lied about receiving a bomb threat to the downtown facility was ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution.

The hospital was shut down for four hours after Nicole Leigh Sinner of Casselton, N.D., said she received a call from a man about a bomb in the building at MeritCare's Roger Maris Cancer Center, where she worked at the time.

Prosecutors said MeritCare officials estimated that the bomb threat cost the hospital $500,000 to $750,000 in losses.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528 Fargo police arrest woman in MeritCare bomb threat Mike Nowatzki 20071219

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