DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – For more than an hour Monday morning police in Dallas, along with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents, investigated a suspicious 18-wheeler parked near the Earle Cabell Federal Building.
Sgt. Warren said when officers arrived they went into the trailer of the semi and saw some wiring that “looked suspicious to them.” At that point the bomb squad was called and police evacuated several buildings in a 3-block area as a precaution.
Dallas police Sergeant Warren Mitchell explained, “At about 6:23 this morning a call came in to the Dallas Police Department 911 call center regarding a semi-tractor trailer being parked in front of the federal courthouse.”
Several streets around the federal building — including eastbound Commerce Street to Akard Street; and both directions on Jackson Street from Austin to Akard — were also closed.
Several ATF explosive detection canines were brought to the scene and shortly after Dallas police announced that the scene had been cleared.
“When the bomb squad arrived they checked out the vehicle and they cleared it about nine o’clock this morning. They found no suspicious devices inside,” Sgt. Warren said.
According to the ATF, the big rig was in the 1100 block of Commerce Street. When asked if the area was clearly designated as a no parking zone Warren said, “It’s clearly marked. He [the driver] should not have parked there.”
Dallas police say when they notified the owner of the truck they were told the driver was on an “extended break.” As of 9:35 a.m. police said they had not made contact with the driver, but were towing the 18-wheeler to the city pound.
The public and federal building employees were initially asked to avoid the area, but officials said “street closures will be open momentarily”, so people are expected to again be allowed in the building.
“We’re living in different times so you can never be too careful,” Sgt. Warren said. “Exactly what happened last week and then again today, the officers felt it best to call the bomb squad out.”
Clyde, 22, died from his injuries after a shootout with members of the Federal Protective Service. During that incident more than 300 federal employees were evacuated from the building.
“It’s chaotic,” said Ashley Rosborough, who was trying to get to an appointment on the southern side of downtown. “It’s definitely different from my regular commute, but I’m still making it, so I’m getting where I’m going but it’s different.”
For others, last week’s armed attack on the building was still top of mind, even after officers gave the all clear.
“This is like the second week in a row that we’ve got Monday closed down roads and everything,” Jason Ortiz, who works near the Cabell building. “So, it’s kind of crazy. It’s happened so soon.”