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Ellenton man charged with making fake bomb threat to gas station

MANATEE -- An Ellenton man was arrested after he called in a fake bomb threat to a gas station on Sunday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Scott Pearson, 41, was arrested and charged with making a false report of a bomb and misuse of the 911 system. He was released from the Manatee County jail Monday on bonds totaling $8,000.

At 5:55 p.m. Sunday, 911 dispatchers received a call from Pearson saying there was a bomb at the Pilot gas station in Ellenton but he wouldn't give dispatchers additional information, according to his arrest report. Several deputies responded to the gas station and evacuated the area but could not find Pearson.

Other deputies went to an address known to be associated with Pearson, but he was still not found. Investigators obtained surveillance video from the gas station showing the suspect making the call from the gas station. The 911 call, identifying the phone number called from, was also obtained.

At 6:44 p.m., dispatchers received another call, from the same phone number, this time reporting that there was an active threat involving several men who had guns and someone was in danger at Leffingwell Avenue and U.S. 301 North, the report said. Deputies responded to the intersections and found Pearson.

Deputies also found his cell phone, which matched the number used to make the 911 calls.

Pearson has a prior arrest for providing false information to law enforcement, according to court records. His criminal history in Manatee County also includes convictions for forgery, uttering a forged instrument, dealing in stolen property, obstruction, petit theft, possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He also has several other arrests over the last three decades, including multiple cases which are currently open.

In May 2012, Pearson was released from prison after serving less than four months of his 17-month sentence for a grand theft auto conviction out of Wakulla County, according to Department of Corrections records.

Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twittercface fontname="Roman" naxe="0" iaxis="0"/>