EAST COBB, Ga. — It’s been a rough 24 hours for 70-year-old Gary Studenic, a chiropractor who owns a pain relief clinic in Marietta. On Wednesday, the East Cobb resident accidentally triggered a bomb scare in which half a dozen downtown buildings were evacuated.
“This was just a horrible chain of events the spiraled out of control,” Studenic said. “What happened actually started the night before.”
On Tuesday, he says, his friend left a note on his car as a joke. That friend watched from a nearby office window as Studenic and his wife found the note.
“My wife saw what was on the windshield, so she picked it up and started reading it,” Studenic said. “As I looked up, I saw him looking out his window, and he's up there laughing.”
The note read in part NOTICE OF EXPLOSIVE INSTALLATION. IT HAS BEEN MODIFIED TO EXPLODE ON CONTACT. A NOMINAL FEE OF $10,000 WILL BE COLLECTED AT TIME EXPLOSIVE CHARGES ARE REMOVED.
The joke might have ended there, but the paper was not disposed of, and Studenic says he accidentally placed the note on his dashboard the next morning when he parked in front of the Marietta Daily Journal. He says he only intended to display a different piece of paper with his name and phone number, in case his car needed to be moved.
“Unbeknownst to me, I picked up both that note and what he had put on as a joke, and I threw it in the dashboard and took off running, because I was late getting to where I needed to be,” Studenic said.
He says his phone was on silent during his appointment in downtown, and when he finally checked it, he was surprised by what he found.
“A massive amount of calls were coming through, and I saw that most of them were from the Marietta Police Department,” Studenic said. “When I got there, there was a large level of anxiety and agitation which I understand, because I think they had been trying to reach me for an hour and a half.”
Studenic was arrested and charged with reckless conduct.
“I didn't like that I had to go to jail, but I get it,” he said. “I can't change what happened. I can at least move forward and make something better out of it.”
Studenic says he wants everyone to know how sorry he is. He’s actually written a two-page apology that he’s planning to give to all the first responders.
“I want them to know that it was unintentional, a total accident, and that I'm sorry,” Studenic said. “And I want to make it up to the officers by inviting them to our place this fall when it's nice, have a couple food trucks out here, and let them know I'm really sorry.”
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