The man charged after a fake bomb threat note was left inside his Porsche is sharing his side of events that forced police to evacuate six buildings Wednesday in Marietta.
Passers-by noticed the note on the dashboard of the Porsche that the car was “modified to explode on contact,” and called authorities, but the car’s owner said it was all just a joke between friends. In a letter of apology shared with media, Gary Studenic said his “very innocent and simple accident became a very large problem for so many.”
Studenic, 70, was charged with one count of misdemeanor reckless conduct after police cleared the area nearby and tracked him down. Studenic, who owns and oversees a pain clinic, was booked into and released from the Cobb County Jail on $250 bail.
In a two-page letter released Thursday, Studenic said he and a friend, a local attorney, have a tradition of playing pranks on each other and the note was another of those. His friend placed the now-infamous note on his vehicle “and then watched for me to come by and see it.” Studenic said he and his wife approached the car and she read the note out loud.
“As soon as she started reading it out loud to me, I grabbed it and started looking for my friend because it didn’t fool me for a second,” Studenic wrote. “As I reached for my phone to call him, while looking for his number, I saw him looking out of his office window laughing.”
The next day, Studenic drove in town to find a parking spot. He parked his Porsche near the office of the Marietta Daily Journal, “reached over and grabbed what I thought was only my notice of parking” and ended up placing the note on the dashboard. Studenic went into the Cobb County courthouse and said he turned off his phone.
With his phone off, Studenic was unaware of the scene that was unfolding a few blocks from Marietta Square. Police were dispatched around 10:10 a.m. to the Marietta Daily Journal on Waddell Street to find Studenic’s black Porsche with a note on the dashboard that read the car would explode and that it would cost $10,000 for the bomb to be deactivated. Cops evacuated six buildings, including some office buildings within the immediate area. The Cobb County Bomb Squad was called in to investigate the car.
Once Studenic turned his phone back on, he he saw he had a “plethora of messages and calls,” including several from Marietta police.
“As soon I heard that there was potentially an explosive device in my car, I stated that everyone could stand down, as it had to be from a prank from the other night,” Studenic said.
Studenic rushed to the scene where he said he was met with a “ramped-up, agitated group of officers doing their job.”
“The conversation was very heated as to why I had done such a thoughtless thing, and I was very upset to have such allegations levied at me of which I would never have knowingly done,” he said.
Studenic said the police told him that they felt “some charges had to be given,” so he was arrested and booked into the Cobb jail.
The Marietta Police Department declined to comment on Studenic’s apology letter. However, spokesman Chuck McPhilamy said Wednesday that the department takes any threat of a bomb seriously.
“In the wake of so many tragedies across the country, police can’t make the assumption that this is not a serious threat,” he said.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.