Charges Filed, $250K Bail Set in M&I Bomb Threat
A man said to be responsible for a Friday bomb threat at a downtown Minneapolis bank—an incident that prompted a lunchtime evacuation of a building along Nicollet Mall—was charged Monday with two counts of terroristic threats and two counts of kidnapping.
Philip James Pariso, 33, of Inver Grove Heights, remains jailed, and his bail was set at $250,000. His first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.
Pariso entered the M&I Bank near Sixth Street and Nicollet Mall mid-day Friday—and he was escorted to a cubicle after he told the receptionist that he was there to re-open a closed account, according to documents filed in Hennepin County District Court.
Once in the cubicle, and shortly after a personal banker and a bank trainee began to assist him, he allegedly told the employees that he had a bomb in the bag that he was carrying, and said that they were his hostages. He then instructed the personal banker to call WCCO-TV and the police.
Pariso allegedly held the two hostage for 25 to 30 minutes, at one point jumping up and yelling “Bomb threat!” Minneapolis police eventually talked him into releasing the employees. No bomb was ever found.
Gaviidae Common was reportedly evacuated for about an hour and several nearby streets were closed for a while as a result of the bomb threat.
According to WCCO-TV, Pariso came to the news station’s downtown Minneapolis studios at 90 South 11th Street on Friday and was turned away after asking to speak with a reporter. Soon afterward, someone believed to be the same man reportedly called WCCO and made the same request, adding that if his story wasn’t heard, the station would hear about it.
M&I Bank, whose Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based parent company was bought last year by BMO Financial Group, has more than 20 Minnesota locations—including the one in downtown Minneapolis where the bomb threat was made.