AUGUSTA — City Center reopened Monday morning following a Friday incident in which a man angrily slammed a cup full of roughly 100 bedbugs onto a counter in the General Assistance office, releasing the live pests.

That office and other areas of the building, including the entire hallway on both floors, were sprayed with bedbug-killing chemicals by a pest control company Friday.

Initial plans to have a bedbug-detecting dog check City Center before opening to the public Monday morning were thwarted because the dog can’t sniff for bedbugs so soon after pesticides have been applied.

Matt Nazar, city development director, said inspecting a facility that had been sprayed recently would affect the dog’s ability to smell. He said the dog will likely be brought in next week, to make sure there are no longer any bedbugs at City Center.

He said city officials and a pest control contractor expressed confidence they have removed, or killed, all of the bedbugs that were released Friday..

City Manager William Bridgeo said city officials decided to close the building Friday as a precaution.

Nazar said the man, whose name officials have not shared, came to City Center multiple times Friday, releasing the bugs on his final visit that afternoon.

He said the first time the man had apparently come to complain to the city about bedbugs in his former Court Street apartment. Nazar said that’s where the bugs in the cup came from.

Nazar said a city code enforcement officer contacted the man’s landlord, who said the man’s apartment was being treated by a pesticide company, that day, for bedbugs.

The man returned to City Center later Friday seeking General Assistance’s help in securing a new place to live. However, Bridgeo said the man didn’t qualify for General Assistance because he had other income sources.

Upon learning he didn’t qualify for General Assistance, Bridgeo said, the man pulled out the cup of bedbugs and slammed them free.

“He told police he wanted them to experience the same thing he was experiencing,” Nazar said. “Frankly, the General Assistance office has nothing to do with bedbugs. It’s an extraordinary bit of misdirected anger.”

Police stopped the man outside City Center but did not arrest him. Lt. Christopher Read said police are not sure if any charges will be filed against him.

Bedbugs have been a persistent problem in some buildings in the city, and they have been found in the city’s General Assistance office previously.

Keith Edwards can be contacted at 621-5647 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: kedwardskj