Clarenville hotel evacuated after bizarre incident
RCMP bomb squad conducts sweep after suspicious item found; later ID'd as bundle of cigarettes attached to a watch
A man who allegedly threatened to kill guests at St. Jude Hotel in Clarenville Tuesday is facing several charges.
The bizarre incident led to an evacuation and a sweep of the hotel by the RCMP bomb squad.
The drama began at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, when the fire alarm at the hotel startled guests.
But the wake-up call was even scarier for those staying on the second floor.
Witnesses report hearing an agitated man knocking on hotel room doors, one by one, shouting at guests that they were all going to die.
He also set off two fire extinguishers, causing a mess.
The RCMP's bomb disposal unit was called in after officers discovered something suspicious — what turned out to be a bundle of cigarettes, attached to a watch.
It turned out to be harmless, but St. Jude management decided to evacuate the hotel as a safety precaution. Guests were rebooked in other hotels in the region.
Police arrested Raymond Mercer of North Harbour.
The RCMP says Mercer had been drinking before he knocked on doors and made comments to guests.
Mercer appeared before a judge in Clarenville late Tuesday.
He's charged with assault, unlawfully using a fire alarm, and two counts of uttering threats.
A psychiatric evaluation was ordered by the judge. Mercer is set to appear in court again on Aug. 16.
The St. Jude Hotel reopened Tuesday night.