Man arrested over social media posts hinting he planned to blow up county buildings

Posted at 2:19 PM, Jul 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-03 09:16:00-04

FLORENCE, Ky. -- A tip from a concerned citizen led to the arrest of a man who posted social media comments hinting that he planned to blow up Hamilton County government buildings, according to Florence police.

Allan Summers, 51, stands charged with terroristic threatening.

His arrest came the same day another man with Cincinnati ties, Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts, was arrested in a separate terror case in Cleveland. Federal officials there say Pitts pledged support for al-Qaida.

In Northern Kentucky, police haven't given any indication Summers was linked to a terror group. Social media posts show a personal grudge against the Hamilton County justice system.

One post asked that friends and family "stay away" from the Hamilton County Justice Center, the county courthouse, and the building housing the prosecutor's office and public defender's office on July 9.

Allan Summers' booking photo

The post, dated June 30, said that "these are all the places that conspired to prosecute me and took away my freedom for 157 days" on July 9, 2008. Records show he pleaded guilty to a theft charge on July 9, 2007 in a 2006 case, but none linked to the date he referenced in his post.

Another post, dated May 3, talked about how a fertilizer bomb "the size of a small car" could bring down both the Justice Center and the prosecutor's office. That post was on a different Facebook account under Summers' name.

Yet another post that same day talked about how to make a "dirty bomb" using nitroglycerin purchased on the black market.

Then Sunday, a post talked about Summers' difficulties in obtaining the chemical. A post later that day said "I hope I don't get caught with my device" and indicated Summers would be driving back to Ohio.

Authorities began investigating Summers after Florence police were notified by a tipster who was concerned by the "alarming posts," they said in a news release.

Summers was taken into custody at AmeriPride Linen and Apparel Services on Industrial Road. Sam Hooks, the general manager, said Summers wasn't a regular employee but was brought in by a staffing service.

“I am grateful for the work of law enforcement for securing the arrest of this man," Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said in a statement. "They have done their job. Now we will do ours.”

Capt. Tom Grau, with the Florence Police Department, said Summers is a resident in the area. Florence police got a tip, notified the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Hamilton courthouse and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

Hamilton County detectives helped ping Summers' phone, Grau said, and police found him at AmeriPride. A bomb-sniffing dog checked out the vehicle but didn't indicate it found anything, Grau said.

Police are in the process of getting a search warrant for Summers' home and the car, which was impounded.

Summers is being held at the Boone County Jail. A judge set his bond at $250,000 Tuesday morning, and he is scheduled to appear in court July 9. 


WCPO's Hillary Lake contributed to this report.