Safety

Police release additional details into bomb scare at Port Hueneme Pier

PORT HUENEME, Calif. - UPDATE

The bomb squad determined the suspicious device found inside a man's backpack was not a bomb, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. The area has reopened to the public.

Police released additional information into the incident saying the investigation began after receiving a 911 call from an employee at Surfside Seafood reporting a man claiming to have a bomb in his backpack and was going to set it off.

Police officers located the suspect standing in front of the restaurant next to a backpack and suitcase. The suspect was identified as 46-year-old Manuel Maez of Nevada. Maez told officers he had prior training in creating bombs, according to a statement released by the Port Hueneme Police Department.

The area was evacuated and the bomb squad was called in after officers discovered an item inside the backpack that appeared to support Maez claims that he had a bomb. After X-raying the device, investigators determined it was not an explosive.

"During the investigation with the suspect still at the scene, he continued to tell Officers he had a bomb and had prior bomb making experience. While making claims of having a bomb, Maez explained he became radicalized while incarcerated in prison," read the Port Hueneme Police Department statement.

Maez was arrested and charged with making a false bomb threat and was eventually taken to Ventura County Main Jail.

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The Ventura County Sheriff's Bomb Squad is on scene of a possible bomb threat investigation at the Port Hueneme Pier.

The incident began unfolding just after 3 p.m. Tuesday when authorities received a report about a man suspected of carrying an incendiary device inside a backpack.

Port Hueneme police officers took the man into custody after discovering a suspicious device inside the man's backpack, according to the Ventura County Fire Department who along with Ventura County Sheriff's Office personnel, is assisting in the investigation.

Authorities have asked the public to stay away from the area.

The beach, parking lot, and nearby seafood restaurant have been evacuated by police. The immediate area has been cordoned off.

No further details were immediately known. Check back for updated information.


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