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Alexandria’s Planet Fitness evacuated after emailed bomb threat

Planet Fitness in Alexandria’s West End was evacuated early Saturday evening (April 6), adding to a growing number of similar threats made at locations around the country.

The Alexandria Police Department was alerted at around 6 p.m. of a bomb threat made via email, according to the APD scanner. Police said in one dispatch that an employee reported that the alleged threat was sent in an email at 4:06 p.m.

The building was evacuated for more than an hour, and reopened at around 8 p.m. Doyle’s Outpost, which is an arcade located next door to the gym, was also evacuated and didn’t reopen. Doyle’s Outpost had a staff of more than 15 people who ended up getting sent home early on Saturday night.

“We had multiple birthday parties going on,” Doyle’s Outpost manager Natise Ragland said. “I didn’t want to raise a panic, so I calmly told the adults that there was some sort of situation and that the police were asking us all to evacuate. Everyone paid their tabs and then we put their food in to-go containers and evacuated.”

There have been more than a dozen bomb threats made at Planet Fitness locations around the country after an Alaska woman’s membership was revoked at a location in Fairbanks last month. The member took photos and video of a transgender woman shaving in the women’s locker room, and then posted the images and videos online. The woman’s membership was revoked for violating Planet Fitness’s policy of taking pictures and video in locker rooms, and the gym defended its gender identity non-discrimination policy.

The issue has since gone viral, prompting online activists to protest the cancellation of the woman’s membership.

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