UPDATE: Authorities Find Bowling Alley Empty After Hostage Report

A SWAT vehicle and robot are mobilized just inside the perimeter
at Main Lanes. (Charlie Heflin, Whitley County EMA)

COLUMBIA, CITY, Ind. (WOWO): Authorities in Whitley County are calling a hostage situation Monday at Columbia City bowling alley “unfounded.”

For nearly 4 hours, units from a number of state and local agencies attempted to get inside. Police closed traffic for a two-block area around Main and Elsworth Streets.

After a series of requests to surrender went unheeded, units discovered there was no one inside the building, just before 9 p.m.

An investigation is underway. 

It started around 5:15 p.m. when police dispatch received a call saying a woman was stabbed being held hostage. The man named “Mike” said he attacked the woman after she cheated on him. He added he was going to “finish her off” with a firearm.

The story went on to point out the woman was receiving treatment in a restroom. A friend was tending to her while the man refused to allow help inside the building and would shoot anyone who came near and “he would come out with guns a blazing.”

Early reports indicated a special emergency response police team was called in. Whitley County Emergency management also provided a drone for a review of the building.

On Facebook, Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel praised the response of public safety officers for working together “seamlessly.” But, called the situation a “prank” and “a costly one at that.”