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Bomb squad called downtown, but suspicious items prove harmless

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 7:03 am

Fort Wayne Police blocked access Tuesday morning to the Harrison Street entrances to the federal building and Lincoln Financial Group in the 1300 block of Harrison Street. However, suspicious items left on the federal building's grounds proved harmless.

Prompted by the "suspicious behavior" of a man outside the building, which houses U.S. District Court offices and courtrooms, U.S. marshals called Fort Wayne Police for assistance. The man had left behind what appeared to be clothing in a heap at the northeast corner of the plaza.

After police were called at 9:47 a.m., they blocked traffic to the street and prevented people from coming or going through the entrances of the two buildings that faced Harrison. People could still leave through other exits.

A robot from the Fort Wayne Police bomb squad approached the material left on the plaza, probed it and lifted it off the concrete. Then a member of the bomb squad in protective gear approached and collected that material left on the plaza.

Dozen of people collected along the south side of the plaza and the Lincoln building to watch, and a few cooed "Awwww" as the bomb-robot rolled away from the plaza. Police reopened Harrison and the sidewalks in front of the buildings to traffic again at about 11:25 a.m.