Update #2: Bomb threat suspect undergoing phsych evaluation
Crossroads Shopping Center in Rochester is clear of any potential bomb threat, according to local authorities. Police had closed down a busy stretch of Broadway Avenue and evacuated nearby businesses to investigate whether a vehicle had explosives inside.
This all began just after noon on Wednesday when authorities received a report that a man was "driving erratically and masturbating." When police ran the license plate number, they learned the same vehicle was wanted for making a bomb threat at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport that morning.
Police were able to take the driver, who has not been identified, into custody at the shopping center's parking lot. A police K9 alerted police that there may be explosive material in the vehicle, prompting police to call the bomb squad.
Businesses were evacuated and several blocks of Broadway were shut down. Nearby, Friedell Middle School was forced to dismiss its students through the east side of the school. However, Rochester Police Capt. John Sherwin said the students were never in danger.
The bomb squad showed up later in the afternoon and determined the suspicious items in the vehicle were not actually explosive.
According to a spokesperson for MSP, the suspect drove into the airport around 7 p.m. and "yelled out he had a bomb and someone should call the police" before taking off. The threat was not believed to be credible.
Local authorities confirmed the man responsible for the threat at the airport was the same individual taken into custody in Rochester. The 46-year-old Shorewood man has not been arrested or charged. He's currently undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at a local hospital.
In an unrelated incident, officers were setting up a perimeter around the crime scene when they received a report that a nearby business, Fish and Pets, was robbed at knifepoint.
The incident was reported by an employee around 1:45 p.m. The suspect, Chad Hatton, 39, was later located and arrested in the 1300 block of 4th Avenue SW.
Store employees were able to positively ID Hatton as the suspect from the robbery, according to a police report. He faces felony charges for 1st-degree aggravated robbery.
Investigators believe Hatton, who has a lengthy criminal history of mostly drug-related charges, may also be responsible for a theft earlier in the week at a nearby drug store.