'All clear' given in Tonawanda after suspicious man causes evacuation

May 27, 2014

The 'all clear' has been given in the Town of Tonawanda where the actions of a suspicious man caused the evacuation of a section of Sheridan Drive this morning.

Armed Forces Recruiting Center on Sheridan Drive investigated after suspicious man entered early Tuesday morning.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Tonawanda Police say the man believed to be in his mid-twenties entered the Armed Forces Recruiting Center at 2820 Sheridan around 8:35 a.m. He argued with a Marine recruiter, made a threatening comments, and threw a briefcase at staffers before exiting the building. He also left behind his running vehicle.

Police caught up with the man a short time later and took him into custody. He is currently at Erie County Medical Center undergoing an evaluation. 

Businesses in the plaza were evacuated and a portion of Sheridan was shut down to traffic. It has since reopened.

Erie County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad Commander Sergeant Greg Kent says they were called to the scene, using robots and K-9's to inspect the car and the briefcase.

Erie County Sheriff's bomb squad robot used to investigate suspicious package and vehicle.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

"We then brought the package outside with our robot, worked outside in the parking lot, opened it up with our robot and what we saw inside was nothing too threatening. There were suspicious items in the package that would maybe lead someone to think that it was an explosive device," said Kent.

Kent says nothing suspicious was found inside the car. The FBI and ATF officials were also called due to the nature of the scene. No charges have been filed at this time. A criminal investigation is ongoing. The man's name has not been released.

The department has been in contact with the FBI due to the nature of the scene.  Investigators are evaluating whether federal charges are appropriate. The man's name has not been released.