Traffic on 210 Freeway Restored After Jacket Bomb Scare

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From STAFF REPORTS

2:25 pm | December 7, 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 threw the jacket onto the freeway. Officers arrested the the suspect after he fought with Sheriff’s deputies when they tried to question him.

A criminal records check showed the suspect has over $80,000 worth of standing warrants, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said. He was located near the Gold Line Memorial Park station a short time after the freeway was reopened and is now in custody.

Pasadena police officers, LASD deputies and CHP personnel close 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.

Ramon Montenegro, Public Information Officer for the LASD Transit Policing Division, said the department’s bomb squad has advised it was now safe to reopen the freeway.

“The sheriff’s Arson/Explosive Detail (LASD’s bomb squad) has rendered it safe and the freeway has been reopened,” Montenegro said.

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.”

Even with the freeway incident resolved, LASD officers 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).”

Caltrans has cancelled a Sigalert declared earlier in Pasadena because of the incident, and said all eastbound and westbound lanes have been opened as of 10 a.m.

Metro has also announced train service from Lake Station of the Gold Line has been restored, although some residual delays were to be expected.