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Thread: Art project mistaken for 'suspicious device' in ULL dorm

  1. #1
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    Art project mistaken for 'suspicious device' in dormitory
    Richard Burgess
    Posted on September 19, 2002
    LAFAYETTE - A suspicious-looking art project led to the evacuation of part of a UL Lafayette dormitory in a bomb scare Wednesday.

    The state police bomb crew was called in at about 8 a.m. after a custodial worker reported discovering three suspicious packages in a wing of Stokes Hall.

    What investigators found was a student's art project that incorporated shotgun shells, said UL Lafayette acting police Chief George Cox.

    Cox said there were three separate pieces to the artwork. One piece consisted of a box and some large metal screws, he said, and the other two pieces were live, 12-gauge shotgun shells taped together.

    "When state police got there, they deemed it a suspicious device," Cox said.

    The area of the dorm where the packages were found was evacuated, and the Sheriff's Office searched the area with bomb-sniffing dogs.

    State police then sent in a remote-controlled robot on wheels equipped with a video camera to investigate.

    Students were allowed to return to the dormitory at about 3 p.m. after the area was deemed safe.

    Police did not release the name of the student who made the artwork. He was questioned but not charged.

    It is a violation of university police to have ammunition on campus, said UL Lafayette Dean

    of Students Edward Pratt.

    He said university officials will weigh the facts in the incident and complete their investigation before determining if disciplinary action will be taken against the student.

    Cox said he does not believe the bomb scare was prompted by post-Sept. 11 fears.

    "I saw it," he said. "I think it (the response) would have been the same 'pre' or 'post.' "

    Pratt said that the university's actions were appropriate.

    "We conferred with state police experts and followed protocol to the letter. Our uppermost concern is always student safety," he said.

  2. #2
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    Seems they need to add a Criminal Justice course about the identification of "art"ifacts.

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