Man claiming to be vampire prompts bomb scare near courthouse
A two-block section of Third Avenue near the King County Courthouse was closed for two hours Friday morning after a man with a suspicious device wired to his arm told people he was a vampire looking for food.
Seattle Times staff reporters
CBS News | Raw Video
A man wearing what appeared to be a pipe bomb and claiming to be a vampire wanting "to eat people" sparked the two-hour closure of a downtown Seattle street Friday morning.
Bomb-squad officers took the 33-year-old man into custody near the main entrance to King County Courthouse about an hour after police received the first call at 8:11 a.m.
Police said the man had a section of pipe taped to his arm.
"It was fashioned to look like a pipe bomb, but it was not a real explosive device," police said in a news release Friday afternoon.
KING-TV reported the man had been in mental-health court on Thursday where his lawyers told the judge his medications were not working. The judge had ordered the man's defense attorneys to address the issue, according to the TV station.
On Friday, employees of the Union Gospel Mission on Second Avenue said the suspect was dressed in black and covered in duct tape when he walked into the mission "and threatened to blow the place up," according to police. He then told staffers "that he was a vampire and wanted to eat people."
The man, who also called himself "a space cowboy," showed the pipelike device taped to his wrist. Staffers ushered the man out of the building and called police.
The man was gone when officers arrived, but he was seen a short time later in a doorway in the 500 block of Third Avenue.
Police told him to lie down, which he did. Officers then gave the man a pair of surgical scissors and instructed him to remove the pipe, and he complied.
The section of pipe "looked real enough to enough people," said police spokesman Mark Jamieson.
After taking the man into custody, police used bomb-squad robots to inspect the device and took it for further examination.
After officers searched the suspect for any other potentially dangerous devices, the man was taken to the department's West Precinct for questioning. He was booked into King County Jail for investigation of threats to bomb.
Third Avenue was closed from James Street to Yesler Way, and was reopened shortly before 10 a.m.
The man was convicted on a drug charge in January and the court ordered him to undergo a competency evaluation, according to the KING-TV report, but no such evaluation ever took place.
Seattle Times staff reporter Emily Heffter contributed to this report.
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