HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) -- During the early afternoon of Wednesday, August 15, 2012, a homeless man walked into the City of Hot Springs Visitor Center, located in the 600 block of Central Avenue and made threatening remarks to some of the visitor center workers aimed at National Park Service law enforcement officers.
The visitor center employees who heard the comments notified Hot Springs National Park and Rangers were dispatched to investigate. Immediately, the Fordyce Bathhouse Visitor Center and all others buildings on Bathhouse Row, including the Administration Building were put on lockdown to prevent entry into the buildings while the suspect was still at large. The lockdown lasted less than 30 minutes.
According to Chief Ranger John Hughes, "we have a very close working relationship with the City of Hot Springs and are grateful to them for calling us. Because of their timely response we were able to quickly resolve this issue before anyone got hurt."
Park Rangers took Todd Bronson Mitchell, 38, of Mendocino, California into custody across the street from the park. He was charged with threatening federal police officers and is currently awaiting trial. Mitchell has an extensive criminal history throughout the United States.
The investigation revealed that Mitchell was angry at the Park Rangers after he was evicted from the Gulpha Gorge Campground the previous evening for failing to pay required camping fees.