October 23, 2012 in City

Homeless man’s suitcase causes bridge bomb scare

By The Spokesman-Review
Dan Pelle photoBuy this photo

Spokane police Sgt. Jason Hartman watches Tony Dell gather his clothing after a member of the bomb squad went through Dell’s bag Monday in Spokane.
(Full-size photo)

A homeless man who left his belongings in a suitcase tied to Kardong Bridge inadvertently caused a bomb scare Monday.

“I understand this is the world we live in now,” the suitcase’s owner, 42-year-old Tony Dell, told police after finding his belongings scattered across the bridge by explosives experts.

Spokane police closed the bridge Monday morning and cordoned off an area near Riverpoint campus, then called in the bomb squad as a precaution after being alerted to the suspicious suitcase by passers-by about 10 a.m.

No explosives were found.

Dell wanted to use a Washington State University computer and secured his suitcase to the bridge rather than carry it with him around campus.

But when he returned, he saw police all around it and identified himself as the owner.

“I’m sorry they had to come out,” Dell said of the responding officers as he put his clothes back into the suitcase.

“I’m not a terrorist. I don’t think like that.”

His name was written on a backpack inside the luggage. Dell said he was staying at Truth Ministries in east Spokane while going through some hard times.

Spokane police Sgt. Jason Hartman said the response was the same precaution police take for any call referring to a suspicious device.

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