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Hoax is alleged
Local man faces charge in case at U.Va.-Wise
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Bryant Hairston

Friday, January 25, 2013

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

A bond hearing will be held today for the Martinsville man accused of falsely calling law enforcement about a gunman at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

Bryant Hairston, 20, of Rosewood Avenue, Martinsville, a sophomore at U.Va.-Wise, was charged Wednesday with knowingly giving a false report as to the commission of a crime to a law enforcement official with the intent to mislead, according to court documents.

The charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor, court documents show.

The charge was filed after the Wise County 911 Dispatch Center received a call around 9 p.m. Wednesday that a gunman had been spotted on campus, said Kathy Still of the university.

Several local and state law enforcement agencies arrived on campus, and the college used its emergency contact system to alert students and staff to “hunker down and stay where they were,” Still said.

The campus was locked down for about two hours as law enforcement officers and campus police “searched every building and every room” as well as the grounds, Still said.

They found “no evidence of a gunman,” she added.

Officers then questioned the person who called 911 to report the gunman, she added.

Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ron Elkins said Hairston is being held in the Duffield Regional Jail.

A misdemeanor assault warrant in connection with an unrelated incident also was served on Hairston while he was in the magistrate’s office, court records showed.

Hairston graduated from Martinsville High School, where he was active in the JROTC program and cross country, according to previous reports.

A psychology major at U.Va.-Wise, Hairston will not be allowed to return to campus pending the outcome of his legal issues, Still said.


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