A Lisbon man was arrested Wednesday evening after he allegedly made a threat on Facebook that he would blow up a building of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Alexander Hanks

Alexander Hanks, 24, was arrested in Lewiston just before 6 p.m. Wednesday. He was charged with terrorizing, a class C felony, after police received an anonymous tip, according to a news release from Chief Marc Hagan, of the Lisbon Police Department.

Police didn’t find any firearms or bomb making materials in Hanks’ home after obtaining a warrant to search it, Hagan said.

After learning of the alleged threat, police notified the Maine DHHS office in Lewiston about it, according to Hagan. But Hanks did not make his alleged threat about a specific Maine DHHS building. The state agency has multiple locations in Augusta and other parts of the state.

Hagan said the incident points to a broader problem involving threats on social media.

“(W)e continue to see a lack of awareness of the consequences of what people are posting on social media sites,” Hagan said in an email. It “is unacceptable to threaten people’s lives, no matter what the format used to transmit the threat, and we will treat all threats as valid until proven otherwise.”

After Lisbon police located Hanks in Lewiston at 5:55 p.m. Wednesday, with help from the Lewiston Police Department, he was taken to the Androscoggin County Jail without incident.

His bail was set at $2,500. He is scheduled to appear at the Androscoggin County Courthouse in June.

In a written statement, a Maine DHHS spokeswoman, Emily Spencer, thanked Lisbon police for “taking swift action to protect our employees in this situation.”

Spencer also said the agency takes threats “against its employees seriously and is committed to maintaining safe work environments,” and she pointed to procedures it follows when threats are received.

Those procedures “include disseminating information to employees regarding concerns of potential danger, working closely with law enforcement to investigate threat reports and, when appropriate, assisting in the apprehension and prosecution of anyone who threatens an employee or DHHS building.”

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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