Reporting Rachel Slavik
STILLWATER, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Downtown Stillwater has reopened Saturday afternoon after a bomb scare forced authorities to shut down several city blocks.
According to Washington County authorities, the scare started as a robbery at the US Bank on 2nd and Chestnut around 9:30 a.m. when 45-year-old suspect David Michael Tyler came in with a note and a package.
A police report says he then set a briefcase on the bank manager’s desk and fled. He was arrested two blocks away as he tried to get into his pickup truck.
Police kept the area evacuated until they could determine the device was fake.
Stillwater resident Kathy Driscoll says this sort of scene is rare in her city.
“It’s a very touristy town and this is high time,” Driscoll said. “It’s crazy. I got up, wanted an early start of the day. All the cops, and the tape, and the sirens, they were everywhere. It’s crazy.”
Mary Klein says she waited as authorities searched three different areas: The bank, a vehicle believed to be the suspects and the nearby Lowell Inn where the suspect was checked in.
“A lot of businesses were looking to try and make their money and now there’s no way in heck they’ll gonna make money at all,” Klein said.
Rosemarie Barbaroe was one of many guests forced out of the hotel.
“They said it was a bomb threat. I thought it was in the hotel. We didn’t find out later til it was across the street,” Barbaroe said.
By 3 p.m., downtown Stillwater was back to the typical Saturday rush, but the investigation is far from over for police, according to Chief John Gannaway.
“We have very few bank robberies here in Stillwater, once every few years. So it’s a significant event for us,” Gannaway said.
No one was hurt, and Tyler was taken to Washington County jail. He is being held pending charges for aggravated robbery and making terroristic threats.
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