Santa Monica Lookout
|Santa Monica Courthouse Evacuated After Report of Suspicious Package||
By Lookout Staff
September 29, 2016 -- The Santa Monica Courthouse was temporarily evacuated at around 2 p.m. Wednesday and the public warned to stay away as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s bomb squad handled a “suspicious package” on the grounds outside, authorities said.
Although a county bomb squad detonated the item three hours later, at about 5 p.m., traffic remained snarled.
LASD Deputy Kimberly Alexander said the department’s Arson/Explosives Detail arrived at the scene shortly after 1 p.m. in the Santa Monica’s busy Civic Center in response to a report of a suspicious package at the courthouse.
Santa Monica police issued a warning to stay away from the courthouse, located at 1725 Main Street, about the same time.
As students from nearby Santa Monica High School prepared to leave school and the Civic Center’s traffic was growing, the City also posted an emergency alert online warning the public to avoid the 1700 block of Main Street, Olympic Drive between Ocean and 4th and the front of City Hall.
The courthouse is nearby City Hall, police headquarters, the Civic Auditorium and Samohi. Congestion is especially heavy in that area in the morning and late afternoon-evening rush hours.
Traffic lanes on the 200 block of Olympic Drive were closed, along with Main Street between Pico Boulevard and Colorado Avenue. Santa Monica police assisted.
Police first alerted the public to avoid the courthouse shortly before the bomb squad’s arrival.
The courthouse was reportedly closed temporarily in early December as well following the report of a suspicious package.
In early July, downtown Los Angeles turned into a much longer than usual commuting nightmare for a similar reason. The report of an unattended package considered suspicious at a major Metro station prompted closure of several freeway ramps.
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