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story.lead_photo.caption Thaddeus Gayer

Deputies identified on Friday the man who dropped a backpack under a vehicle across from the Benton County administration building, sparking a bomb scare Thursday afternoon.

Thaddeus Mark Gayer, 27, was arrested Thursday in connection with possession of a controlled substance, according to jail records. He was being held Friday in the Benton County Jail on a $15,000 bond.

Keshia Guyll, spokeswoman for the Benton County Sheriff's Office, identified Gayer Friday as the man questioned in connection with the incident.

Bentonville police and deputies with the Benton County Sheriff's Office shut down Central Avenue leading into downtown at about 1 p.m. Thursday and cordoned off an area around a suspicious package.

Law enforcement asked people to leave the south end of the Benton County administration building, 215 E. Central, warned people in houses along Southeast Second Street of the danger and put crime scene tap across the end of Dave Peel Park.

Gayer was late for court and stashed his backpack under a van, Guyll said Thursday. Once he arrived at court he was arrested in connection with the possession of a controlled substance charge.

Deputies searching for the man who left the bag later identified Gayer from security footage. He told deputies he thought the vehicle belonged to a family member, Guyll said Thursday.

The Bentonville Bomb Squad arrived and technicians checked the backpack before turning the scene over to deputies just after 2 p.m. Thursday.

Guyll said a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia will be added related to evidence found in the search of the backpack.

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