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Mom hopes mix-up leads to dropped charges for ‘dynamite clock’

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A Richmond mother spent 64 hours in jail over the weekend after what she calls a cascading series of missteps.

A relieved and exhausted Daphne Page walked out of the Henrico County jail Monday afternoon after being charged with a felony for a crime, she says started out an innocent gag gift for her daughter's birthday.

"I’m hoping the judge will understand the truth of the situation as I tried expressing it when it was occurring," said Page Monday.

The misunderstanding unfolded early Friday evening when the 52-year-old was shopping at Whole Foods in Short Pump.

 

Daphne Page

The clock that was in Page's car got the attention of another Whole Foods shopper who decided to called 911.

The call elicited a quick response from Henrico police. Police, fire, and Hazmat crews responded to Short Pump parking lot at about 5:05 p.m. Friday to investigate the "suspicious device."

Police cleared the parking lot for about five hours. A bomb robot eventually helped to determine the device was fake.

It turns out the gift was an alarm clock that resembled dynamite.

Page had purchased the item earlier in the week for a dollar at a garage sale with her mother.

Despite explaining her situation to police, a bomb detection squad had to be called out.

Page was arrested and slapped with a felony charge for possessing the hoax device.

She spoke to CBS 6 from jail over the weekend.

"I picked it up and said, ‘that's funny’ - my daughter birthday is coming up she might find that amusing."

Page never imagined the gift would end up taking her to court.

CBS 6 Legal analyst Todd Stone said he believes prosecutors may very well drop the case.

"There needs to be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that she intentionally placed this bomb looking device in a place to create fear in the minds of people. If you don't have that you can't sustain a conviction."

The Hernico Police Department released a statement defending their actions:

“The fact it turned out not to be an actual explosive device does not diminish the impact it had on the community and the resources dedicated to ensuring it was handled properly. People must consider their actions, especially when police ask citizens to be vigilant of suspicious activity.”

Daphne Page is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on August 24.