Police have confirmed the suspicious item found near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a package of fireworks. Authorities evacuated an area near the entrance in the Coke lot after an IMS yellow shirt discovered the so-called “device” in a creek.
The entrance and traffic were blocked as Speedway Police, IMPD and the FBI responded to the 4900 block of West 30th Street around 2 p.m. Saturday.
Thankfully, it was just a false alarm. Police say this is a prime example of their campaign: ‘If You See Something, Say Something.’
“Nobody knew what was going on at first,” said Adam Schwelnus, who camped just a couple hundred yards from the scene. “You actually almost think maybe it’s a bomb scare.”
Authorities had to bring in a robot to take pictures and examine the device before the bomb squad stepped in. They used a device to open the item. Police say there was a small amount of residue that indicated the article was consumer fireworks.
“It’s not necessarily just an item itself that makes it suspicious, it’s the activity that goes on around it,” said Lt. Brian Bethel from IMPD. “The yellow shirt that identified it obviously saw something that was on top of the article that was suspicious in of itself.”
Despite the false alarm, police are taking every tip and lead seriously during race day weekend and big events in Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Department of Homeland Security has beefed up on patrols in light of the Boston bombings last month.
“We were considering that was going to happen all this weekend,” said Graham Brant-Zawadzki, who drove to Indianapolis from Boston. “It’s too bad that’s the way things are now but it’s a testament to how we responded and stepped up to be ready for things like this.”
If you see something suspicious, call 1-877-226-1026. If there’s an emergency, call 911.