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Suspicious Package That Forced Street Closures Contained Only Personal Items, Trash

Reported: Mar. 13, 2014 1:07 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 13, 2014 11:33 PM EDT

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Katy Brown) -- David Batty said he's in downtown Charleston all the time, so he wanted to know what police found while they investigated a suspicious package Thursday afternoon.

"I would say it would make you curious," he said. "It would definitely make you curious because if you see a package like that it's like, 'What is that?' “

The call came to 911 just before noon, and it was reported that a man had put a backpack in some bushes along Court Street, which is right across the street from St. Francis Hospital.

Charleston police responded and called for help from the bomb squad at the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office.

The area around Court and Washington Street East was shut down as police examined the backpack.

"It kind of makes you wonder and you get a bad vibe from it. You're just going to leave right away," Batty said.

With the help of the K-9 unit, the bomb squad, and even a robot, police figured out the package was harmless.

"They determined there was nothing of any hazard, nothing real harmful items in there," Cpl. Brian Humphreys, with the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office, said. "Just some personal effects, but there was some bottles and other things that could have contained something and the shapes of them were alarming, I guess, in the initial inspection."

While it may seem to be quite an operation for something that turned out to be nothing, Humphreys said this is the typical response because law enforcement will never mess around when it comes to public safety.

"When we have a suspicious package that the circumstances dictate that the package needs to examined, we would rather err on the side of caution, especially across the street from a hospital," Humphreys said.

And for that, people are grateful.

"Thankfully, the police came through," Batty said. "They responded the correct way, taking the necessary precaution. Everybody's safe."

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) – A suspicious package that forced several street closures and an appearance by a bomb squad in Charleston Thursday contained only personal items and trash.

The package was found in some bushes along Court Street across from Saint Francis Hospital in Charleston, according to a news release from the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office. Metro 911 received a call about noon from someone who witnessed a male hide a backpack in some bushes.

Charleston police officers responded and confirmed the suspicious package location along Court Street across from St. Francis Hospital and requested the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad respond to assist.

Upon their arrival, officers closed the area to traffic while the package was examined. It was determined the package contained no hazardous items and the area was reopened.

The sheriff’s office said street closures, though inconvenient, are often necessary when examining suspicious items.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- Quarrier Street and Washington Street East in Charleston reopened Thursday afternoon after a suspicious package that was found was determined to be harmless.

Cpl. Brian Humphreys said the package was found across from St. Francis Hospital. Metro 911 said it received a call about the package about noon. The streets were shut down while a bomb squad examined the package.

It was unclear what the package contained.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- Metro 911 says Washington Street East and Quarrier Street in Charleston were shut down Thursday afternoon after a suspicious package was found.

An emergency dispatcher said 911 received a call about the package about noon.

The package was apparently found in the vicinity of the old Cagney's restaurant building.

Eyewitness News has a crew at the scene. Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.

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