Lockdown Came After Former Southern Adventist Student Talked At Chattanooga State Of "Strapping On A Bomb"

Thursday, January 30, 2014 - by Hollie Webb
James Michael Gaines
James Michael Gaines

Police were notified when a former Southern Adventist University student trying to transfer to Chattanooga State told the Director of Enrollment he would have to use a gun or strap on a bomb to get his transcript.

James Michael Gaines first went to the Southern Adventist admissions office on Jan. 23 in order to get his transcript sent to Chattanooga State. However, he was told he would not be able to get it until he paid an outstanding debt.

Frustrated, he went to the Chattanooga State office to see if there was anything else he could do.

When he explained the situation to Director Kisha Caldwell, she said he told her, "I've done all I can think to do except put a gun to their head."

She immediately told him he could not say things like that.

She said he replied, "I know, I know, you can't say things like that nowadays."

He continued to ask questions, and she told him it would take around five days for his financial aid to process after everything was turned in.

Ms. Caldwell said he looked "antsy" and said, "Well, I go try to get my transcript, which will probably take 10 days to a year to get and then I guess I will go back to Southern and try to pick up my transcript and strap a bomb on me."

She admonished him again and began to email police.

Because of Gaines' statements, Southern Adventist University was temporarily put on lockdown until he was later taken into custody. According to police, he said he was only joking.

Bond was set at $2,500.

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