Police say large firecracker caused LA blastAssociated Press Writer
( page of 2 )
SAN PEDRO, Calif. - A large firecracker caused a blast near a Los Angles-area harbor that sent police scrambling to evacuate the neighborhood and order bomb squads into a hotel parking garage early Sunday, authorities said.
An M-80 explosive device went off at around the same time an SUV was vandalized in the area, said Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Michael Downing. Investigators initially thought the vehicle was the source of the blast.
The bomb squad sent in robots, and officers throughout the area were placed on alert, but investigators now believe it likely was not a bomb that broke the window and created a small hole in the door of an SUV, Los Angeles Police Lt. John Romero said.
A caller reported hearing a blast at 7:30 a.m. in a commercial area of San Pedro. A short time later a patrol officer with the Port Police discovered the damaged Lincoln Navigator in the underground garage of the Clarion Inn.
"On closer inspection and using their training, bomb squad is confident the damage was caused by something other than a bomb. Based on what we know now, they're scaling the operation way back," Romero said.
Downing said investigators ruled out any connection to terrorism. No arrests were made.
Romero said the LAPD has classified it as a vandalism case and detectives will be looking at surveillance tape of the garage and impounding the SUV to search it for clues.
The Navigator is owned by Kent Whitman of San Jose. He returned Sunday from a seven-day Mexican cruise and found that the hotel where he left his SUV was evacuated, then learned that the evacuation was because of damage to his vehicle.
I can't wait for something really important or really serious happening.....