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Artist Pleads Innocent In Seattle Bomb Scare

A Seattle man whose performance art piece sparked the evacuation of Seattle’s downtown retail core pleaded innocent Monday to causing a bomb scare.

Jason Graham Sprinkle, 26, is charged with one count of intimidation or harassment with an explosive, a class C felony. The charge alleges Sprinkle intended to cause fear, harassment and intimidation.

On July 15, he parked his battered pickup truck carrying a metal sculpture of a giant human heart in Westlake Park, deflated the tires and left the scene.

Police, fearing a bomb, evacuated a nine-block area for 5-1/2 hours. Thousands of people were hustled out of the area, the city’s major department stores, downtown bus tunnel and scores of shops were closed, and a massive traffic jam resulted.

There was no bomb. Sprinkle later said he was stunned at the reaction and that his only intent was to make a statement about the lack of support for some artists.

Sprinkle turned himself in several hours after the bomb scare after contacting The Associated Press.

He pleaded innocent Monday before King County Superior Court Judge Brian Gain, who scheduled another hearing for Aug. 5, at which time a trial date might be set.