Public Safety

Police: Suspicious package at Iowa City city hall was full of paperwork

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Police lights

IOWA CITY — A man who left his backpack inside the police department, prompting an evacuation of city hall and response from the county’s bomb squad, will not face criminal charges.

According to an Iowa City police news release, around 2:49 p.m. Wednesday, a man went to the front desk of the police department and placed a full backpack in front of the window. The backpack was padlocked and the man did not respond to the police department employee at the window. He then left the building.

Because of the man’s behavior, city hall was evacuated and the Johnson County Metro Bomb Squad was called to the scene. City hall reopened about three hours later.

Police said Thursday the backpack was determined to have a large amount of paperwork inside. Authorities were also successful in locating the man who left the backpack. He allegedly told authorities he left the backpack at the station because he was mad about mail fraud.

“The ICPD requests that community members not leave items in the Police Department lobby or City Hall without first speaking with City staff,” the city news release reads.

In addition to the bomb squad, the police department was assisted by University of Iowa police, the Iowa City streets and fire departments, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Johnson County Ambulance Service and Johnson County Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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