A Vilonia man who reportedly claimed he had poisonous hot dogs and possibly a bomb in his bag outside the Eight Mile Store on Monday is currently behind bars in lieu of a $1,000 bond.

William Anson Ratliff, 30, of Vilonia was charged with threatening a fire or bombing, a Class A misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor, after he reportedly claimed to have a bomb in the bag he sat on the ground by his vehicle in front of the Eight Mile Store.

Sheriff’s deputies were called around 7:40 p.m. Monday to the gas station regarding the “suspicious object” after Ratliff went inside and instructed employees to call 911 because “he had [two] pipe bombs in his car,” according to an incident report.

When deputy CW McCall pulled up to the scene, Ratliff walked up and said “he has people trying to kill him and they placed two pipe bombs in his minivan.”

According to the report, the Vilonia man’s vehicle was parked over by the store’s sign and the backpack in question was lying on the ground in front of his van. Ratliff also told the deputy he had recently “taken drugs” but that he did not have any with him at the time.

The Vilonia man told responding deputies not to touch the bag in question and when asked for his ID, Ratliff claimed it was in the bag alongside some poisonous hot dogs.

At this point, authorities handcuffed Ratliff and called the Conway Bomb Squad to the scene.

According to a Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office report, the store was evacuated so that the bomb squad could assess the bag in question. The bomb squad searched through the bag and also Ratliff’s van but “did not find any evidence of a bomb.”

The Vilonia man was ultimately arrested and taken to the Faulkner County Detention Center. Ratliff is currently behind bars in lieu of a $1,000 bond and is scheduled to appear on Oct. 19 in Conway District Court for a plea and arraignment hearing.

Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached at mhicks@thecabin.net.

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