Po­lice in­ves­ti­gate sus­pi­cious pack­ages on Main Street East

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - NATALIE PAD­DON npad­don@thes­pec.com 905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

Po­lice closed an al­most two-kilo­me­tre stretch of Main Street East for more than eight hours Fri­day while they in­ves­ti­gated two sus­pi­cious pack­ages found in Canada Post mail­boxes.

The first pack­age — lo­cated near Hux­ley Av­enue — was called in around 11:30 a.m. and det­o­nated around 5 p.m.

Po­lice det­o­nated the se­cond pack­age, found closer to Cameron Street, by 9 p.m.

Staff Sgt. Greg Jack­son said he could not com­ment on the na­ture of the pack­ages — both of which were lo­cated by a postal worker.

Start­ing around 11:30 a.m., po­lice closed Main Street East from the Queen­ston Traf­fic Cir­cle to Ot­tawa Street North, caus­ing buses in the area to be rerouted.

By 7 p.m., the stretch from Ke­nil­worth to Ot­tawa had re-opened, but the re­main­ing dozen blocks re­mained closed at press time.

“It’s a busy thor­ough­fare — it’s not only res­i­den­tial, it’s also com­mer­cial — so the is­sue here was clear­ing the ac­tual streets them­selves and the side streets,” Jack­son said.

Louise Rankin, owner of Rankin’s Grill at 1342 Main St. E., said she saw a “bomb robot” re­move a pack­age that looked like “two metal Ther­moses wrapped in wire and elec­tri­cal tape” from the mail­box near Hux­ley.

The det­o­na­tion was “pretty quick,” she said. “It just sounded like a big fire­work.”

Restau­rant em­ploy­ees were told to stay near the back of the build­ing, Rankin said. She ini­tially closed the pa­tio and asked cus­tomers to leave for their own safe- ty but re­opened later in the day.

“It’s pretty stress­ful be­cause not only have I not had any busi­ness all day, but there’s been the worry of my build­ing blow­ing up,” she said.

The sit­u­a­tion also put a damper on busi­ness for The EndZone Bar and Grill, owner Greg Koropat­nicki said.

He said his estab­lish­ment was not evac­u­ated, which he was happy about given it was a Fri­day and he had a cou­ple of re­tire­ment par­ties com­ing in.

“It’s kind of freaky, but we be­lieve in the po­lice,” he said.

AN­DREW COLLINS, SPE­CIAL TO THE SPEC­TA­TOR

A po­lice ex­plo­sive dis­posal unit tech­ni­cian in­ves­ti­gates a pack­age Fri­day.

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