No bombs were found on the Marysville campus last Thursday, September 2, after two telephoned threats sent thousands of students and faculty home early. At approximately 11 a.m. an anonymous male phoned the CHP warning of a bomb on campus. The CHP immediately alerted college administrators, and during their meeting, a second bomb threat was made directly to campus police office.
Chief Wilkinson was not on campus Thursday, and no other campus officers were yet instated to assist. Three new campus police officers were instated on the following Tuesday, September 7. Without campus officers present, the college administration decided that for the safety of the students an evacuation should be made.
After the fire alarm was activated, runners were sent out to make sure everyone was alerted. Children from the daycare and any students waiting for rides were instructed to wait on Olive Hill near the East Parking lot.
“I was waiting for my next class and everyone started running out of the buildings,” said Victor Sifuentes, a Yuba College student. “I didn’t know what was going on.”
While Dr. Nicki Harrington, the college superintendent president, said the evacuation went quickly, taking only twenty minutes, some students disagreed. Jaime Mendieta, who was in the main office when the alert happened, said it took him nearly 45 minutes to leave.
For many, the first indication of a problem was the fire alarm, though they thought it might be fire drill. Without a public address system, word of mouth was the only way the campus could be evacuated.
Cheri Rizzo, another student, was sitting outside the library when someone told her to leave. “No one seemed alarmed,” she said. She complied, believing it was probably a prank. She continued, “When I was leaving the parking lot, it was totally clogged, and I was sitting there in my car thinking that if this was real, we’re sitting here in our cars not very far away.”
Bomb experts from Beale Air Force Base arrived with bomb sniffing dogs. The dogs were searching out the nitrates present in explosives; however, the search was slowed because many items such as carbon paper and objects used in the Administration of Justice Building had to be ruled out. School administrators waited on Olive Hill for any information from the experts.
No bombs were found. The caller is still unknown because the location or the number of the cell phone used could not be determined. School was cancelled for the rest of the day and resumed on Friday