DEVELOPING: Bomb Squad Investigates Suspicious Packages Near I-66

by ARLnow.com October 12, 2011 at 10:31 am 9,464 40 Comments

Updates: This developing story has been updated here and here.

Update at 2:50 p.m. — The FBI is now on the scene assisting Arlington police with the investigation, police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal has confirmed. “It’s still continuing the investigation from this morning,” she said. Nosal described the objects found as “several” PVC pipes containing weapons.

Arlington County’s bomb squad and police department are investigating suspicious packages found near a utility box along I-66, at the Patrick Henry Drive overpass.

A VDOT contractor found the objects earlier today and called police, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Gregg Karl. ARLnow.com is hearing that construction crews working on the I-66 widening project found a disassembled machine gun and several PVC tubes full of metallic objects in the ground.

Patrick Henry Drive was closed in both directions while the bomb squad investigated. Earlier, a bomb squad member carried a box from the site with what appeared to be the butt of a military-style gun. Minutes later, “fire in the hole” was called a small controlled detonation could be heard. The bomb squad has since cleared the scene, after determining the objects were not explosive, and police are now photographing the evidence.

A passerby says he was told by an officer that authorities found “a box of guns.”

“People call in found firearms frequently,” police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal told ARLnow.com. “Officers will make sure they weren’t used in the commission of a crime.”

“The bomb squad was called in to make sure the tubes weren’t pipe bombs,” she added.

Neighbors say the area where the objects were found is a popular cut-through for kids on their way home from school.

  • CW
    • CW

      (I guess probably, not; I wasn’t clear on if they found this in a utility box – sounded like it was an actual package)

  • DarkHeart

    Did they close Swanson?

  • Flipper

    Swanson MS is probably on lock-down.

    • charlie

      probably isn’t good enough.

    • Me

      i go there and they didnt let anybody leave the building some rooms misunderstood and did a locdown

  • Johnny Utah

    not good.

  • Rick

    Damn Swanson hooligans

  • charlie

    i wonder if this is directed at I-66 drivers (sniper) or
    something related to the student body at Swanson (Columbine).
    very frightening.

    • Reality


      For the love of God, people. Really.

      • FrenchyB

        +1. To borrow a phrase from the Brits, “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

      • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

        I agree. Its a report based on available facts. It is not the whole, complete, or 100% accurate story… yet. Based on the description in the article it could be an airsoft rifle or a paintball gun that some kid wanted to show his friends but knew he couldn’t bring into school. But none of us know anything yet for certain other than what is in the piece above. We’ll find out soon enough.

      • drax

        Hey, Reality?

        Don’t tell people not to be frightened. It’s okay to be frightened when there is a good reason. It’s how you react to it that matters. Nobody has called for martial law or panic in the streets. Shut up already and stop being an Internet Tough Guy.

        • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

          So far, there isn’t good reason. There are no concrete facts other than an investigation. Whatever was found, although near a populated area, was not close to the school, etc. Even the “fire in the hole” that was reportedly called out for a small detonation might be nothing more than precautionary… the object might not have been able to be clearly identified and so it was destroyed with a small charge.

          It is my interpretation that Reality was merely pointing out what you allude to: don’t overreact. The problem is that you get people doing a lot of hand wringing and not enough thinking before they react, comment, etc. Such reactions don’t help anything only work to generate rumor and then the generalized panic that you again allude to.

          • The detonation was very likely detonation cord that they used to open up the tubes. But we couldn’t get any official confirmation of that.

          • KalashniKEV

            You must own a jump to conclusions mat there, ARLnow…

            Det cord used to “open up the tubes?” Stuff like this gets blown in place all the time. The only time a disrupting or “water charge” is used is when you can plainly see exactly what you’re dealing with, and can separate the power source from the trigger and explosive.

            I take issue with “disassembled Machine Gun” also… unless someone sifted through the parts and correctly identified an autosear.

            It sounds like neither of the above are the case and this is just alarmist wording…

    • Me

      i go there and as far as i now it doesnt involve us

  • JMB

    construction crews working on the I-66 widening project found a disassembled machine gun and one or two tubes full of metallic objects in the ground.

    I’m not in favor of widening 66 either, but c’mon…

  • Jackson

    BTW, just received an text message and email from Arlington Country telling me of a coastal flood advisory. Outside of Reagan airport. is there any Arlington property on the coast?

    • charlie

      well four mile run is technically tidal and prone to flooding from a tidal surge up.
      and the Potomac and the various stream beds in Arlington (Pimmit Run, Windy Run, Donaldson Run and Lubber Run, Long Branch and Four Mile Run) are all prone to flooding due to volumes coming down them.

      • Arlington, Northside

        Yep, and Crystal City can be seriously effected by Tidal Flooding.

      • Richard Cranium

        If Donaldson Run overflows its banks it’s going to be time to run for the Ark..

    • drax

      Look at a map. A large river touches Arlington.

  • PhilT

    From the Principal at Swanson:

    > Dear Swanson Parents:
    > I want to inform you about an incident that occurred near the school this morning. Around 10:55 a.m., construction crews on the 1000 block of Patrick Henry Dr. found a suspicious package prompting a response from the Arlington County Police and Fire Departments.
    > At the request of our school resource officer and the fire marshal, we were in a “secure the building” status for 15 minutes. This meant that we locked the main doors and monitored access to the school. Once safety officials gave us the all clear, we resumed normal operations. Police are investigating the incident but there is no indication there was any connection to the school.
    > I am extremely proud of the way students and staff conducted themselves during the incident. We reminded students to stay on main routes and follow safety precautions going to and coming from school.
    > If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
    > Sincerely,
    > Bridget Loft,
    > Principal

  • Zippy

    What was the bomb squad truck doing at Courthouse Metro @ 12noon today.?

    • Just me

      The police station is at Court House, by guess is they took what was found to the police station.

      • Zippy

        The truck was in front of the Metro Elevator @ 2200 Clarendon Blvd.

        • Just Me

          Maybe that was the only place they could find to park the thing.

  • Johnny Utah

    whats in the box! from Se7en

  • beaver pond

    probably Jimmy Hoffa.

  • dallynd

    DHS and FBI now on the scene at Patrick Henry Drive.

  • CW

    None of these cops are special enough to get their faces blurred?

    • KalashniKEV

      If you’re proud of what you do, you don’t have to hide your face.

      • CW

        Referring to ARLnow’s history of inconsistent face-blurring; personally I think that if you can see it in public it should be fair game for public domain posting.

  • Southeast Jerome

    who is the creepy plainclothes guy in the red sweater?

    This is super creepy that the cops are there, even more creepy that they called the Feds.

    • Bob

      “Creepy”? “Super creepy”?? Are you a character in a Judy Bloom story?!

    • KalashniKEV

      I like the guy in “5 of 9” throwing the double deuce…

    • J. L.

      He is a retired Battalion Chief and the Bomb Team Coordinator.

  • R.Griffon

    This is exactly why I leave all of my weapons caches on private property. Perfectly good cache. Ruined. :-/

  • Pingback: Arlington Man Arrested In Connection To I-66 Bomb Squad Investigation()


Subscribe to our mailing list