Pensacola 'bomb' really a go-cart weight, police say


Associated Press

Last update: 12 August 2003


PENSACOLA -- What looked like a pipe bomb turned out to be a weight used to make a competition go-cart heavier during races, police said Monday.

The discovery of three galvanized pipes fastened together with yellow tape on a convenience store's lawn had caused a bomb scare Sunday.

Police diverted traffic from Bayfront Parkway for three hours and forced the evacuation of the store and several rooms at a neighboring hotel.

Everything returned to normal after a team from the state Fire Marshal's Office determined the foot-long device was not a bomb. Police, however, called it a hoax and promised criminal charges if they came up with a suspect.

Instead, they got a call from Ryan Maxwell, 26, of Pensacola who read about the bomb scare in the Pensacola News Journal.

He told officers the pipes, filled with weights from a diving belt, were his. Maxwell said he had stopped at the Groovin' Noovin's Food Store while transporting his go-cart and didn't realize he had lost the pipes until he got to his destination.

The pipes were spotted on the store's lawn, which triggered an evactuation there and at the 78-room Marriott Residence Inn about 100 feet away. All four lanes of Bayfront Parkway were shut down, but traffic was light and flowed smoothly onto detours.

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Information from: Pensacola News Journal, http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com