August 14th, 2009 | City

Bomb scare shuts down Broadway

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Broadway was closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic for two hours Friday afternoon after an unattended bag left near the bus stop outside A-One Pizza prompted a bomb scare. The suspicious item turned out to be nothing more than an empty laptop bag — but police took no chances.

With the New Haven Police Department’s bomb squad on the scene, police officers took cover behind trash cans and ordered bystanders into an alley while a member of the bomb squad approached the suspicious package in full protective gear. The bomb squad technician made three trips to the package and appeared to X-ray it before declaring the area safe.

“You have to treat this seriously,” Lt. Ray Hassett said afterward. “In this case it turned out to be benign, but we are always cautious.”

Over a dozen retailers saw their businesses interrupted, and scores of cars were blocked off in area parking lots after police cordoned off several blocks with a maze of tape.

In the end, the empty bag, ripped open by the bomb squad officer, lie on the street for all to examine — until another officer grabbed it and deposited it in the nearby trash can. “We don’t want to start this process all over,” he said.

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