Suspicious devices found at state Rep. Evans office, West Oak Lane rec center [updated]

    A bottle containing an unknown, possibly flammable liquid was thrown at state Rep. Dwight Evans’ campaign office in West Oak Lane Monday afternoon.

     

     

    As of 5 p.m., both the Philadelphia Police Department’s bomb squad and Evans were heading to the scene to determine what happened.

    From his car on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Evans told NewsWorks it was unclear what liquid was in the bottle, but that nobody was hurt at the campaign office.

    A police spokesperson said the 7200 block of Limekiln Pike was shut down as police and the fire marshall responded to the scene.

    7 p.m. update

    NBC10, a NewsWorks content partner, is reporting, “A man is in custody and is being questioned in connection to two incidents involving dangerous devices, including one that was thrown in the office of a local politician.”

    10 p.m. update

    From NewsWorks contributor Matthew Grady:

    While initial reports of a bomb proved unfounded, police reported that a substance found outside a Northwest Philadelphia politician’s office was still dangerous.

    On Monday afternoon at approximately 4:30 p.m., police responded to the 7200 block of Limekiln Pike for reports of a device giving off smoke outside of an office belonging to state Rep. Dwight Evans.

    Upon arrival, police found a container that appeared to be leaking a green fluid that was smoking.

    The PPD’s Bomb Squad was notified, and after processing the scene determined that the device – a 20-inch plastic water bottle filled with a green liquid inside a plastic bag – was not explosive, but highly caustic.

    “It could burn your eyes, it could burn your skin, and if it actually got in your eyes, it could blind you,” said Chief Inspector Scott Small.

    Small said that Evans was not in the office at the time of the incident, but two employees were present.

    Small said that in addition to the device found outside of Evans’ office, a second device was found at nearby Simons Recreation Center on Woolston Ave.

    This device was also found to be leaking a caustic greenish-colored liquid, but no injuries were reported.

    Small said that bomb squad personnel present at the scenes determined both liquids were similar, and that police have a suspect in custody who they believe is responsible for both incidents.

    The suspect allegedly responsible for making and throwing the devices, described by police as being a 21-year-old male who lived nearby, is currently being interviewed by detectives. A motive was not immediately available.

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