Man’s art project in Fremont results in bomb squad visit

It in the end, it was an art project.  Shortly before 10:00 this morning, North Precinct officers responded to several 911 calls in the 800 Block of North 34th Street. The calls stated that two men had placed a large cardboard box mounted on a wooden stand next to the Burke Gilman Trail, right next to the Adobe building, directly under the Aurora Bridge.  The box appeared to have two red buttons or lights on the outside of it.

Witnesses told officers that after the men set the item in place, they then departed, with one walking away on foot and another leaving in a car.  The witnesses thought this item and the behavior was suspicious, so they called police.

Officers responded and notified the Arson Bomb Squad.  The Arson/Bomb detectives responded to the location and began their investigation.  In the meantime, employees from the neighboring Adobe building left on their own, and the residents of the nearby houseboats were also asked to leave.  As detectives were examining the suspicious box with their camera-mounted robot, one of the men who placed the box approached an officer who was blocking traffic on the outside of the block.  It appeared that he had knowledge of the box, so he was brought to the command post where detectives spoke with him.  He told police that the box was actually a school art project.  It was determined that the box was harmless, and detectives were able to open it and remove the electronic device inside.  The man was interviewed and released, and he took his box and stand with him.  The incident was documented and the blocked streets were reopened to traffic.