MUNCIE, Ind. – Ball State University police evacuated the student enter, and called in state police and the county bomb squad after someone delivered a “suspicious package” to an office in the building.
Joan Todd, spokeswoman for the BSU Police, told The Muncie Star Press officials acted out of an “abundance of caution” after a “suspicious package” was delivered to the parking services office in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center Wednesday afternoon, though he not disclose what was in the package.
Police evacuated the building around 2 p.m., and called in the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad, Munice police and fire departments, Delaware County EMS and other emergency managers, according to the new site.
They also placed nearby Burris Laboratory School on “partial lockdown,” and blocked off commuter lots during the investigation. The incident forced the cancelation of a Student Government Association meeting that was set for 3:15 p.m., though officials reopened the building around that time, Ball State Daily reports.
Police announced the package was harmless, and didn’t pose a threat to students, then proceeded to arrest student Jackson Hiatt, 21, for intimidation a few hours later. It’s unclear what role Hiatt allegedly played in the apparent prank.
University police provided no other details.
“The building was evacuated in a safe and timely fashion, and our partner agencies were immediately on scene to assist with the situation,” Ball State Police Chief James Duckham said, according to WISH. “Our thanks to our students, faculty and staff who calmly evacuated the student center, and to the additional officers who came to assist us.”
Police seem to be highly sensitive to “suspicious packages” left near grade schools or college campuses recently, as schools in numerous states have experienced similar reactions to abandoned backpacks, a left-behind pressure cooker, and other items, EAGnews reports.
In August, Purdue University police called in the Tippecanoe County bomb squad over a cardboard box discovered on campus with the words “keep away. Do not touch. Do not approach,” written on the side, The Lafayette Journal & Courier reports.
In that instance, police “decimated the box with a water-powered device” before later determining that a group of students left the box to protect a group of baby rabbits from traffic, according to Lt. Eric Greenberg.
The rabbits were not harmed, police told the news site.