Suspicious Device in Manchester, NH Prompts Evacuations; 1 in Custody

Police said buildings on Cypress Street were evacuated as a precaution

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A bomb threat in Manchester, New Hampshire, forced evacuations in a city neighborhood and at a mental health center.

Police located a suspicious device, and one man was taken into custody.

"They just said, 'We need you to get out of here,'" explained Ron LaRochelle, who awoke to officers at his door.

Doorbells rang on Cypress Street Wednesday morning. Police were clearing the area after reports of a bomb threat.

"They told me to leave the house, so I took my two dogs and went to my friend's house down the street," explained Rosemery Rodriguez.

Manchester Police responded to the Cypress Center to find a man outside clutching a box, claiming it was an explosive.

"He was agitated, he was screaming, and they were trying to calm the situation down and move him away from the box," Manchester Police Spokesperson Heather Hamel said.

Police arrested the 31-year-old suspect and called in the New Hampshire State Police Bomb Squad to handle the suspicious package.

With the help of a robotic device, authorities detonated the package. It was a strategic move to see if the device was in fact a bomb, and it wasn't.

"We have to always go into it thinking this is real deal and that this could be a dangerous situation," Hamel explained. "They took all the precautions necessary."

After a frightening start to the day, relief came for neighbors who finally got the OK to return home.

"It was very scary," Rodriguez said. "I'm feeling bad that happened in this nice neighborhood, we don't have any problems around here."

The suspect is being held on preventative detention.

He's charged with resisting arrest and placing a simulated explosive device, which is a felony.

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