Sarasota 'suspicious package' an 'altered' bird feeder
One minute Tracey Lane and her family were taking a moment to relax. "We were coming out here to get some air," she said.
The next, chaos unfolded.
"They said no one is going in -- no patients whatsoever," she explained.
That’s how Wednesday morning started for Tracey Lane and her family, and everyone else who needed in or out of Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
On the corner of Arlington and U.S. 41, police responded to what they thought was a bomb.
"That just really put us over the edge," Lane told FOX 13.
Around 8:00 a.m., a hospital worker came across a suspicious package on the sidewalk.
The worker, who noticed wires coming from the package, called hospital security who then called Sarasota police.
When officers arrived, they found what looked like a bomb.
"There was a fuse coming out of the top. Wires that were coming out of the bottom and some type of plastic jug attached to it," Genevieve Judge with Sarasota Police told us.
U.S. 41 was shut down. Local businesses had to be closed.
Inside Sarasota Memorial, patients were moved to safer areas and surgeries were put on hold. While outside, the bomb squad got to work, along with two bomb robots from Sarasota police and the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
The robots worked together, as one x-rayed the package, the other sent close up camera views to investigators.
After three hours officers determined the package was not a threat -- it was a birdhouse.
No one knows where it came from or how it got there, but no one is complaining about the disruption.
"These days it's not over kill. It's being safe. Especially where it is at," Lane added.
Police are trying to figure out if someone left the bird house near the hospital on purpose and whether the wires and jug attached to it were meant to make it look like a bomb.
They will be reviewing surveillance video from local businesses to get those answers.