Woman accused of having suspicious package in car released from jail
HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - The woman accused of having a suspicious package in her car outside a Short Pump store was released from jail on Monday morning.
Daphne Page, 52, was released on her own recognizance, but still faces a charge of constructing or using a hoax firebomb after the incident on Friday evening near the Whole Foods Market.
Page says what police and the bomb squad found was a "novelty clock." She says she bought it at a yard sale in The Fan on Floyd Avenue.
"It was embarrassing for me, to be the initiator of such a big mess," said Page.
On Friday night, a Whole Foods Employee initially noticed the device in Page's backseat, and called police.
"It looked like brown paper wrapped around cylinders," explained Page. "I don't know what sticks of dynamite look like I am extrapolating much like the person who saw in the back seat of my car extrapolated."
Page was planning to travel to Vermont to give the clock to her daughter as a gift, and says she bought it on Mother's Day, thinking her daughter would find it "unique."
The call came in around 5:05 p.m. Friday, and investigators say the package looked "similar to what one may think was a bomb." The parking lot and one of the entrances of the store were shut down for 5 hours, but the store was not evacuated at any point.
Page says she was inside of the store shopping for almost an hour while crews were searching her car.
"I saw the police tape and the flares in the road, and I thought 'huh,' then I turned to walk towards my vehicle and I asked the officer what was going on," she explained. "They said 'is that your car?' and I said 'yes it is,' and they said 'we need to talk to you."
The bomb squad also responded along with fire and hazmat crews. A robot was used to remove the package from Page's red station wagon. Investigators determined the device was fake. Police say Virginia law prohibits anyone from having a device that looks like a bomb.
"I assumed if it was available on the open market it didn't violate that law," said Page.
After Monday's court hearing, Page is now allowed to attend her daughter's out-of-state graduation. Page has no criminal history.
She'll be back in court in August.
Legal Analyst Steve Benjamin says an alarm clock that looks like a bomb is not illegal. Benjamin says, what is illegal is intentionally using or displaying it in such a way to make another person believe it is real, which is what Page is being charged and what the state would have to prove.
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