Suspicious briefcase causes downtown evacuation

Oct. 7, 2010 at 5:07 a.m.

The Victoria County Sheriff's Office evacuated the Election Administration Office and Justice of the Peace Robert Whitaker's office Thursday afternoon after a suspicious container was found outside the building.

About 12:30 p.m., a few deputies spotted an unattended aluminum briefcase on the sidewalk of W. Forrest Street, which is near the sheriff's office, courthouse and district attorney's office.

Given the location of the item, Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor said he contacted the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms to process the situation.

"Fortunately, a couple of court deputies had seen this particular briefcase before," O'Connor said. Using contact information left at a particular court, they were able to get in touch with the owner of the briefcase.

Once the man verified the briefcase, it was inspected, and the scene was cleared.

The man said he was packing up his children and family with "special needs" and accidentally left the briefcase on the curb.

"It was a very good procedure, and everyone was on top of it," O'Connor said. "Mainly, I'm proud of our alert officers for seeing the situation and making remaining officers aware of it."



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