Oklahoma Capitol cleared after incident

November 24, 2009 4:10:37 AM PST
The offices of Oklahoma's governor and lieutenant governor were temporarily evacuated Monday after a man wearing a military fatigue jacket threw a briefcase onto a security checkpoint X-ray machine while attempting to bypass Capitol guards. Capt. Pete Norwood of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said the 50-year-old man, John Morgan, did not work in the Capitol but had some business regarding Social Security. Nothing suspicious was found in the briefcase.

When confronted by police and members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Morgan "quickened his pace and walked into the Capitol. An Oklahoma City police officer was able to make a tackle before he actually got to the metal detection post," Norwood said.

Morgan, of Oklahoma City, was arrested and taken to the Oklahoma County Jail on a complaint of attempting to bypass a security checkpoint, Norwood said.

Gov. Brad Henry, along with about 100 employees in state offices on the east wing of the state Capitol's first floor, were evacuated from the building into a parking lot on the west side of the building, officials said.

"It was a little nerve-racking," said Joy Maxwell, a business manager in the state auditor's office.