Gary Studenic, the 70-year-old owner of a pain clinic in Marietta, Georgia, arrived at his Porsche Wednesday to find a bomb squad eyeing the car with extreme caution.
The reason? Police said they found a note on his dashboard that read, in part, “will explode on contact.” Studenic told them it was a fake threat scribed by his friend as part of an ongoing prank, according to a press release from the Marietta Police Department.
But police still arrested him.
“(Studenic) arrived back at his vehicle at 10:57 AM and stated this was all just a private joke between two friends,” the police department said in a statement. “He claimed to not realize he placed the notes in public view on his dashboard, nor that he parked his vehicle directly in front of the local newspaper facility, the Marietta Daily Journal.”
Studenic was in a building several blocks away when police eventually got in touch with him via telephone, roughly 30 minutes after the first report of “an unoccupied black Porsche” with a threatening note came through to dispatchers, according to the statement.
Several surrounding buildings, including the newspaper, had reportedly been evacuated in the meantime.
Studenic met with detectives in the parking lot, police said, and the bomb squad confirmed no explosives were inside. Richard Calhoun — a lawyer with the nearby firm of Gregory, Doyle, Calhoun & Rogers LLC who reportedly penned the note — also spoke with police, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.
The 70-year-old doctor was arrested shortly after noon and charged with reckless conduct, arrest records show. He was released under a $250 bond roughly seven hours later.
Studenic issued an apology letter Thursday, media outlets report.
He said in the letter that he mistakenly placed the note on the dashboard thinking it was his “notice of parking,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
After arriving at the scene once police were called, Studenic said he was met with a “ramped-up, agitated group of officers doing their job,” the newspaper reported.
“The conversation was very heated as to why I had done such a thoughtless thing, and I was very upset to have such allegations levied at me of which I would never have knowingly done,” he said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.