‘Sus­pi­cious pack­age’ prompts re­sponse

Par­cel out­side Planned Par­ent­hood deemed safe

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

A “sus­pi­cious pack­age” that closed Delaware Av­enue for three hours and prompted the evac­u­a­tion of nearby build­ings on Mon­day was de­ter­mined to be safe, po­lice said.

An em­ployee of the Planned Par­ent­hood, lo­cated at the cor­ner of Delaware Av­enue and Haines Street, dis­cov­ered the pack­age on the front porch at 9:12 a.m. and called po­lice, ac­cord­ing to Sgt. Ger­ald Bryda, a spokesman for the Newark Po­lice Depart­ment.

“It was beat up and had tape around it with no label,” Bryda said. “That was taken as sus­pi­cious.”

Newark Po­lice re­sponded to the scene and de­cided to call in the Delaware State Po­lice Ex­plo­sive Or­di­nance Dis­posal team to in­ves­ti­gate the pack­age.

Parts of Delaware Av­enue and Haines Street were shut down, and of­fi­cers evac­u­ated build­ings within a few hun­dred feet of the Planned Par­ent­hood. Sev­eral Univer­sity of Delaware stu­dents who could not re­turn to their apart­ments milled around the perime­ter of the scene, and one said a po­lice of­fi­cer came into her apart­ment to ask her to leave.

A state po­lice bomb ro­bot and of­fi­cers in pro­tec­tive suits ex­am­ined the pack­age and ul­ti­mately de­ter­mined it con­tained a file of pa­pers in­tended for a Planned Par­ent­hood em­ployee. The pack­age ac­tu­ally was ad­dressed to the em­ployee, but the label was not im­me­di­ately vis­i­ble be­cause of the way the pack­age was po­si­tioned on the porch, Bryda said.

The evac­u­a­tion was lifted just af­ter noon. An em­ployee could be seen car­ry­ing the pack­age in­side.

The bomb squad was called in out of an abun­dance of cau­tion, Bryda said. The fact that the national Planned Par­ent­hood or­ga­ni­za­tion has been the tar­get of vi­o­lence in the past played a fac­tor in the de­ci­sion, he added.

NEWARK POST PHOTO BY JOSH SHAN­NON

A bomb squad ro­bot moves in to in­ves­ti­gate a sus­pi­cious pack­age left out­side the Planned Par­ent­hood on Delaware Av­enue.

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