Two Held in Boston After Cartoon Bomb Scare
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
NPR's David Folkenflik reports it began as a promotion for a late-night cartoon show.
DAVID FOLKENFLIK: Yesterday started off on an anxious note for Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.
THOMAS MENINO: Early this morning, I received a call from Commissioner Davis of a suspicious form in Sullivan Square in Cambridge.
FOLKENFLIK: Menino was speaking to reporters at a packed press conference yesterday afternoon. Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis and his department had to investigate suspicious packages left under bridges and other public areas throughout the region. Davis said it diverted a lot of police time, energy and money.
EDWARD DAVIS: Emergency deployment teams were sent into the center of the city immediately upon these reports. There were significant shutdowns of not only highways but rail traffic with the MBTA, and this has created an enormous inconvenience to people in the city.
FOLKENFLIK: The national news followed, such as these reports on Fox News Channel at MSNBC.
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WBZ: Unidentified Woman #2: Four suspicious devices placed in various locations in downtown Boston. As you can see there, pictures from what we've been following all day. Police presence is thick and heavy as of right now.
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FOLKENFLIK: Ultimately, ten suspicious packages were seized, but Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signaled the all-clear at the afternoon press conference.
DEVAL PATRICK: I think we are all relieved that the device that's found so far have proven to be hoax devices.
FOLKENFLIK: Unidentified man: We are the Mooninites. And our culture is advanced beyond all that you can possibly comprehend with 100 percent of your brain.
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FOLKENFLIK: Boston Mayor Tom Menino said criminal charges could follow that carry sentences of two to five years in prison for each instance of a bomb hoax.
MENINO: We're not playing around. It's about keeping the city on edge. It's about public safety. When it comes to public safety, we're throwing everything at you.
FOLKENFLIK: David Folkenflik, NPR News.
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MONTAGNE: This is NPR News.