About 9 a.m.: A campus safety officer noticed a car parked on the concrete walkway next to the Library Science Building. While investigating the car, a foreign substance landed on the officer’s hand as he was handling the note that was placed on the car’s dash. The note had some threatening remarks and suggestions, according to Vice President of Administrative Services Choi Halladay. The officer attempted to wash off the substance but continued to have abnormal feeling in his hand.
About 10:02 a.m.: The Puyallup Police Department and the Central Pierce Fire Department responded to the 911 call.
After 10:02 a.m.: The officer was taken to the hospital for treatment and observation, and then released safely a few hours later.
Witnesses said wires appeared to be coming out of the car and its windows were fogged up.
About 10:15 a.m.: Police and fire officials treated the situation as a serious threat because of the note. The LSC was evacuated and students moved to the outside areas on campus.
About 11 a.m.: Students were told to move into buildings on campus other than the LSC. A police officer, who is standing outside in the rain, directs students away from the car surrounded by yellow tape. Student Margaret Anderson said she asked the officer what was happening, and he said, “Someone left a bomb threat note on that car.” Another student walked past the officer, and the officer redirected the student to not go by the car. Anderson said the student looked frustrated and said, “Oh man, my car is parked over there.”
About 11:45 a.m.: The Puyallup campus was evacuated. Classes and activities were cancelled for the rest of the day. Students were asked to leave campus.
12:07 p.m.: A Pierce College Emergency Notification read, “Pierce College Puyallup has been evacuated. The campus is closed for the rest of the day, Feb 6.”
12:34 p.m.: Director of Safety Chris MacKersie sent an official email that read, “The Pierce College Puyallup campus has evacuated and gone into suspended operations in response to a potential hazardous material threat. Police and Fire are on site and working with Campus Safety in joint command of the incident. Please do not come to campus. We will send out notifications when the campus reopens. You can also check our website for updates at www.pierce.ctc.edu.”
After the campus evacuation: The buildings and parking lots were thoroughly checked as a precaution, but nothing unusual was found on the premise, officials said. The regional Hazardous Materials Team determined that the suspicious substance found in the car abandoned on campus is believed to be baking soda, Central Pierce Fire and Rescue spokesman Guy Overby said.
2:29 p.m.: Brian Benedetti, director of marketing and communications, sent an all-college email that read, “As an update to the incident at the Puyallup campus, the college remains closed and everyone is to avoid the area. Buildings on campus have been cleared as a precaution. The substance in the car was determined to be non-hazardous.”
Officials began broke down their equipment and moved the extensive apparatus from the college. Overby said five fire engines, a hazardous material incident operations rig, two medics and other equipment were at the campus.
Between 3-3:30 p.m.: The Puyallup Police Department handed the campus back over to the college after towing the suspicious car for evidence processing.
After 4 p.m.: The Puyallup Police Criminal Investigations Division identified a person of interest in the case, and the 22-year-old subject was later detained by detectives.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost
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