October 10, 2012

Police Say Package at Bank of America Was ‘Non-Threatening’; Commons Reopened After Building Evacuations

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Updated 7:25 p.m. with information that package was “non-threatening”

A suspicious package left outside the Bank of America downtown led police to evacuate several buildings on the Commons Thursday but was ultimately determined to be “non-threatening,” according to a statement released by the City of Ithaca.

The Commons, which had been partially blocked off to pedestrian traffic for much of the day, were reopened at about 7 p.m., according to Julie Holcomb, city clerk.

“The threat has passed,” Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 said on Twitter. Earlier in the day, Ithaca Police Department Lt. Vince Monticello said police were treating the object as a “possible explosive device.”

The Seneca County Canine Unit and the New York State Police Bomb Disposal Unit also responded to the investigation, the city said.

Earlier in the day, the Ithaca Fire Department said on its Facebook page that it is investigating the incident with police, and asked people to “avoid the area if possible to assist with attempts to cut down on congestion.”

The Downtown Ithaca Alliance added that the area has been closed to all pedestrian traffic.

“Please find an alternate route and we’ll let you know as soon as all is clear,” the organization stated on its Facebook page.

The Ithaca Journal said Thursday afternoon that there was a “bomb report” in connection with the incident, though City Clerk Julie Holcomb said this was not true.

“I’m not sure where they got that information … it’s a suspicious package,” Holcomb said.

Original Author: Jeff Stein