Riverview resident and junior Meghan Woods informed UR Security of a suspicious item underneath her car yesterday, leading Security on the scene to take precautions. Fortunately, the item, identified as a pipe, was found to be of no threat to Riverview residents.
Yesterday at approximately 4:02 p.m., Woods had gone out to her car, which was parked in Riverview Lot.
‘There was this thing under my car a white pipe with caps, wedged up next to the tire,” Woods said.
Director of UR Security Walter Mauldin said that the female resident noticed a security officer near her car and approached him for help. She was holding the PVC pipe she had found underneath her car, and the officer told her to drop it immediately.
In response to the officer’s suggestion, Woods stated that she didn’t know what she had found and was simply going to toss it aside until she saw the security officer.
‘I definitely felt lucky because if it had been under any other tire I would have backed over it,” Woods said.
The Rochester Police Department was called and arrived at the scene at roughly 4:09 p.m.
Head of Security in Riverview Larry Quinn had stated that due to the plastic on both ends of the pipe, the object resembled a plastic explosive, causing RPD to be called.
‘A piece of PVC with two ends on it looks like a pipe bomb,” RPD Sergeant Al Joseph said. ‘You can’t really anticipate it being anything else.”
Joseph said that it is possible that the object could have rolled under the car.
As part of the necessary precautions, the south corner of Building C was blocked off, in addition to the walkways leading to the building. Security set up a station at one of the blue lights in Riverview Lot and proceeded to evacuate a section of Building C and to check every room.
Police then proceeded to address the situation and decide whether or not to detonate the unknown object. Security officer Joseph Reed commended the joint efforts of UR Security and the Rochester Police Department in response to the situation.
‘You have got to have a coordinated effort to make it work,” Reed said. ‘Everyone has got to be in their respective places.”
Police decided to attach a small detonator to the pipe, which, according to Mauldin, is safer to use if the object is unknown because only a small charge is utilized. Following the detonation, no explosion was observed, allowing Security to conclude that it was not an actual bomb.
‘Nothing was connected to the pipe, so it was inert,” Mauldin said. ‘It was in open air [and] the area was evacuated. So if something were in [the pipe], maybe there would have been some local damage, but it would be less of a threat to the police officer.”
The remains of the detonation were cleaned up, and students were allowed back into Building C at approximately 5:30 p.m.
Students residing in Riverview were concerned with the situation and its causes, and seemed relieved when the situation was under control.
‘I guess it turned out to be less serious than it [seemed], but I’m glad they took it seriously,” Riverview resident and junior Jack O’Connor said. ‘It looks like there was some good police work done here. But it was definitely scary because they definitely detonated something.”
Due to the fact that this was a local incident in a controlled area, the new security system, AlertUR, was not utilized.
‘There were no threat factors, no notes, no calls of somebody trying to do something,” Mauldin said.
Woods was questioned during the incident as to whether she had any enemies or people who would target her or play a prank on her. Woods said that she had no real concerns throughout the situation.
Halusic is a member of the class of 2010.