Commuter Hell as Wednesday Bomb Threat Disrupts Gold Line, Traps Foothill Freeway Drivers, Jams City Streets

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By ANDY VITALICIO | Photography by BRANDON VILLALOVOS

6:37 am | December 8, 2016


A massive law enforcement response to an abandoned jacket possibly rigged with explosives at the Lake Avenue Gold Line Metro Station Wednesday morning that shut down trains and the 210 Freeway for over an hour led to the arrest of the man who reportedly had thrown the jacket onto the freeway.

Officers arrested the the suspect after he fought with Sheriff’s deputies when they tried to question him.

The hours-long investigation left a miles-long backup on the I-210 Foothill Freeway. Some motorists got out of their cars.

“It’s become like a community out here,” one motorist told City News Service.

Pasadena police, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol personnel closed the 210 Freeway and the Metro station as the sheriff’s department’s Arson/Explosives Detail responded to investigate the report, only to find out later that the reported “device” was a harmless jacket.

Lt. Marc Lucio at the Transit Policing Division said the bomb squad took special care in handling the incident as they would do in all bomb threat cases.

“It was a jacket, but when our explosive detection K-9 sergeant was responding to the original call, when he arrived he went and looked at the jacket, there were things that he could see in and on the jacket that caused him to call our arson and explosive detail, which is the Sheriff’s bomb squad. So that’s what prompted the closure,” Lucio said.

As the bomb squad investigated the scene, other deputies looked for the man who had thrown the jacket onto the freeway to question him.

“When our deputies went to the Memorial park Gold Line Station to see if they could speak to this individual, originally he was compliant, and then he began to fight with our deputies,” Lucio said. “He’s been taken into custody. There was nobody injured and a criminal records check showed he has over $80,000.00 worth of warrants. He’s obviously going to be booked on that and the obstruction, fighting with our deputies and he could face additional charges later.”

With the freeway incident resolved, law enforcement said people should always be alert and report anything suspicious to authorities.

“We’d just like to remind everybody if they see something, say something,” Montenegro said. “They can call the Sheriff’s Traffic Policing, (888) 950-SAFE (7233).”