Chief Drake: 'I don't believe there was a lapse in judgment' in 2019 report on Anthony Warner

Posted at 3:38 PM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 19:36:48-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Police Chief John Drake held a press conference Wednesday addressing a 2019 police report made on Anthony Warner in which his girlfriend claimed he was making a bomb in his RV. Chief Drake said officers didn't have enough probable cause to search the home or RV.

Read More: Anthony Warner's girlfriend warned police he was building bombs in his RV last year

The police report from August 21, 2019, shows police responded to the home of a suicidal woman. She told officers that her boyfriend - Anthony Warner - "was building bombs in the RV trailer at his residence."
The report states officers also spoke to an attorney who represented both the woman and Warner, told police that Warner "frequently talks about the military and bomb-making."

Attorney Ray Throckmorton told NewsChannel 5 Investigates Tuesday, "I made a report on the spot for him to get checked out and I did all that I knew I could do."

During Wednesday's press conference, Chief Drake read from a prepared statement on officers' response to the 2019 incident before taking questions. He said officers went to Warner's home after their interaction with his girlfriend and attorney.

Drake said officers knocked on the door of the home multiple times to speak with Warner, but never made contact with him. The next day, Hazardous Device Unit Officer Kevin Pollard followed up with the FBI, with agents checking Warner's military connections and ties to the Department of Defense - both of which came back clean.

The Chief continued, saying Officer Pollard reportedly drove by Warner's home several days and called his landline in hopes of getting in touch with him but all his efforts were unsuccessful.

Something Attorney Throckmorton was surprised to hear. "I am floored the report says that," Throckmorton told NewsChannel 5 Investigates. "And to find that out now."

Officer Pollard reportedly called Throckmorton on Aug. 29, saying he was still trying to find Warner. "Officer Pollard recalls asking whether he could just take a look inside the RV, park behind Warner's home. Officer Pollard recalls the attorney telling him that Warner did not care for the police and 'I'm not going to be able to let him let you all do that,'" Drake read from the statement.

During Officer Pollard's conversation with Throckmorton, he said the attorney told him Warner is capable of making a bomb but didn't believe he was doing so and didn't believe he was violent.

But Throckmorton insists that is not true. "He was not a current client of mine at that point in time," Throckmorton told NewsChannel 5 Investigates. "I certainly would never have told them not to check it out when I'm the one who said go the hell over there and find out what's going on."

Chief Drake answered several questions from reporters, and with each of them he reiterated, "We had no legal basis for search warrants or subpoenas based on what we knew at the time."

He said he will be trying to create a better connection to the department's joint terrorism task force moving forward.

"I believe the officers did everything they could legally, maybe we could’ve followed up more, hindsight is 2020. But one thing that I think, but I’m sure I’m gonna do is, we don’t have an officer on the joint terrorism task force which is connected to the FBI. And so that was brought to my knowledge as well so will start that will put an officer on that team," said Drake.