Driver faces terrorism charges

Driver faces terrorism charges

August 13th, 2010 by Joy Lukachick Smith in News

Contributed photo She was arrested for ramming her car into Gordon county jail yesterday. She faces charges of Terroristic Threats and Acts, Interference with Government Property, and Criminal Damage to Property in the 2nd Degree.

Contributed photo She was arrested for ramming her car...

A woman who attempted to ram her car into the side of the Gordon County Jail was taken to the hospital and faces charges including making terrorist threats.

Police say they still are investigating what provoked 24-year-old Johana Cortes to try to ram her Toyota Corolla into one of the entrances of the sheriff's office on Thursday morning.

Cortes, who is from California, missed the door and ended up crashing into the law enforcement memorial in front of the entrance, said John Bankhead, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman.

While the memorial, which cost more than $5,000, was destroyed, it prevented the car from going into the jail lobby, said Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston in a news release.

Cortes faces charges of terroristic threats and acts, interference with government property and criminal damage to property in the second degree, Bankhead said in a news release.

After Cortes was questioned Thursday morning, Gordon County sheriff's deputies believed an explosive device might be inside her car and the GBI bomb squad was called to the scene, Bankhead said.

The jail was put on lockdown and many employees were evacuated from the building until the scene was cleared of any threat, Ralston said. Inmates were not evacuated from the building, he said.

GBI agents didn't find any bomb in the car and is leading the continuing investigation, Bankhead said.

Cortes is being treated in a Gordon County hospital for injuries that are not life-threatening and is under guard. Her local residence has not been determined yet, he said.