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Bomb threat suspect's sister: He's mentally ill, not dangerous

Posted at 11:51 PM, Jul 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-03 07:20:46-04

FLORENCE, Ky. -- By the time her phone rang Monday, Sharon Summers already knew what was on the other end: News that her younger brother, Allan Summers, was in trouble again.

It was a familiar spot for him, she said. Allan's longtime struggle with diagnosed schizophrenia had, over the course of 51 years, produced run-ins with the law, stints in in-patient psychiatric care and radical, frightening mood swings.

"When he's on medicine, he's very kind and everybody knows it," Sharon Summers said. "He'll say, ‘You know it wasn't me,' and it's not."

Monday's trouble was bigger than usual -- big enough to net him a charge of terroristic threatening -- but Sharon insisted it was another consequence of her brother's illness, not of his nature.

Florence police arrested Allan Summers Monday in connection to social media posts in which he had threatened to blow up Hamilton County government buildings. The Hamilton County Justice Center, county courthouse and prosecutor's office were all on the list.

In one June 30 Facebook post, he wrote: "These are all places that conspired to prosecute me and took away my freedom for 157 days" on July 9, 2008.

A May 3 post on a different account with Summers' name discussed the potential for a fertilizer bomb to topple the Justice Center; another post the same day focused on making a "dirty bomb" from black market nitroglycerin.

His sister claimed he has made similar threats before -- one to the White House -- and never made a serious attempt at carrying them out.

"When he gets into these depression moods, he does crazy stuff," Sharon Summers said. "I knew that it was a matter of time before somebody got that information and (thought) that it was real, but he wouldn't hurt nobody."

Police said in a news release they learned about the threats through an anonymous tip from a "concerned citizen." They arrested him at AmeriPride Linen and Apparel Services, where he had been brought on as a temporary employee through a staffing service. A bomb-sniffing dog investigated his car but did not locate a weapon.

Sharon Summers said she believes her brother needed to be placed back in psychiatric care until he was in a more stable state of mind.

"I hope (the charges) will be dismissed, but I hope Allan gets the help that he needs, too," she said.