Times Square suspicious package contained only water bottles

By Jerry Markon
Friday, May 7, 2010; 2:37 PM

New York police have determined that a suspicious package that prompted a midday evacuation Friday of three blocks in the heart of Times Square contained only water bottles.

The package, a cooler, was left in front of the Marriott Marquis hotel at 46th Street and Broadway. The bag was discovered at 12:42 p.m., New York Police Department Detective Mindy Diaz said.

The NYPD bought in the bomb squad to investigate the small, collapsible cooler, and officers with that unit determined that the bag posed no threat.

The evacuation came nearly a week after the attempted car-bombing of Times Square prompted an evacuation on a busy Saturday night.

The vehicle in that case was parked at West 45th Street and Seventh Avenue, about two blocks south of the Marriott Marquis.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that New York police have checked out 493 suspicious packages between Sunday and Wednesday, compared with 381 in the same period a year ago.

On Wednesday night, New York police responded to a rental truck, smelling of gasoline, that had been abandoned on the Triborough Bridge. They found that truck also posed no threat; the Journal reported that police are looking for a man who may have stolen the truck to meet his girlfriend, only to abandon it upon seeing that officers were searching trucks on the bridge.

Staff writer Scott Butterworth contributed to this report.

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