SEATTLE - A man wearing what appeared to be a pipe bomb man was kicked out of a Seattle homeless shelter Friday morning after claiming to be a vampire, then wandered around before surrendering to police, authorities and witnesses said.
The man, whose name was not released, complied with officers who rushed to the scene and voluntarily removed the suspicious device, which had a wire attached, said police spokesman Mark Jamieson.
A bomb squad was investigating whether it was explosive but Jamieson said it looks “real enough.”
“At this point, we don’t know what it is,” Jamieson said after the man and the device were both moved from the area.
The man in his 40s, dressed in black, was taken into custody for questioning.
Brian Johnson, director of a nearby men’s shelter, told KING-TV that a man walked into the shelter, saying he was a vampire and needed food.
Johnson said after shelter employees refused to let him in, the man took off his jacket and showed them the suspicious device.
Workers called police and told the man to leave.
Jamieson said police responded to numerous calls shortly after 8 a.m. and closed off the area around Third and James near the King County Courthouse.
Police cautiously approached the man and he cooperated. They gave him a pair of surgical scissors and had him remove the device.
“Once we started talking with him, he was compliant,” Jamieson said.
A nearby apartment resident, Justin Anderson, said he saw the man walking down the street, pacing in circles, and playing with tape that held a pipe to his arm.
Anderson, 29, said the man obeyed police commands shortly before 9 a.m. and put his hands behind his head and surrendered.
“I was enjoying a leisurely morning,” the student said. “Then something more interesting happened.”
The incident closed a major downtown intersection for about two hours during rush hour.
Authorities have not yet indicated whether the device was real or released more details about the man.