Backpack left in courtyard prompts bomb scare at federal building

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SAN DIEGO -- A police bomb squad was called to investigate an unattended backpack found in a courtyard outside the downtown federal building Tuesday afternoon.

Police shut down the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Building at 880 Front St. shortly before 4 p.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. They closed down a section of sidewalk in the area while a bomb squad investigates the object, described as a backpack or similar bag.

Apparently a witness saw a man hide the backpack in some bushes and walk away, a spokesman for the bomb squad said.. Federal police took the man into custody briefly.

Shortly before 5:30 p.m., members of the bomb determined that the bag was harmless, containing only clothing and some tools.


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