FLORENCE — A Franklin County man is in jail after he was accused of making threats to kill people if he didn’t get treated at a local hospital, officials said.
Rodney Lee Lightfoot, 36, 14184 U.S. 43, Russellville, is charged with making a terrorist threat, police said.
Florence police detective Brad Holmes said the incident happened about 11 p.m. Wednesday at Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital.
“He went to the emergency department wanting to receive treatment for a mental problem,” Holmes said.
He said it was while Lightfoot was being questioned by the emergency room medical staff during triage that he is accused of making the threats.
“He told the staff if he didn’t get treatment it was his intent to ‘commit murder against anyone he came in contact with by all means necessary,’ especially using explosive devices,” Holmes said.
He said police were immediately notified.
ECM spokesman Tom Whetstone said the staff in the emergency department reacted appropriately and contacted authorities to address the situation. He said hospital security was with the employees and patients until police arrived.
Holmes, and Sgt. Shane Blalock, the city’s mental health officer, were called to the emergency room. After talking with Lightfoot, he was taken into custody and charged.
“He told me what his plans were, and he seemed serious about what he wanted to do,” Holmes said. “Based on his statement, we believed he was serious about the threats and to protect the best interest of everyone, he was taken into custody.”
No one was injured during the incident.
Lightfoot is being held in the Lauderdale County Detention Center without bail pending a mental competency hearing.
Making a terrorist threat is a Class C felony and is punishable by 1-10 years in prison if convicted.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.