After the insanity and sorrow of last week’s massacre in Connecticut, my neighborhood got it’s own call with a twisted mind. Someone phoned police headquarters four times during the early morning Tuesday Dec.18 claiming there was a bomb planted in the police car parked in front of the local elementary school - a block and a half down from my place. The car had been there for several days as an indication of police presence. The school is directly across from a hotel catering to Korean guests. Packed as usual.
The police car is parked on the right against the curb. Dogs, Robots, Firemen, Ambulances, Police, Trucks of all kinds. Streets sealed off. Buses rerouted. Traffic nuts. People frightened. Not much information given out. People standing in front of their houses behind the yellow tape. One thing - you got a chance to meet the neighbors you hadn’t met previously.
The smaller machine on the left is a robot that will go to the car, smash a window, stick a camera inside, then break open the trunk and check that out. Force the hood, look at the engine. The big truck is empty at this point. Someone inside a van somewhere was running the little guy.
This picture was taken from the roof of my building after all of the neighborhood was kept inside (yup, the police told you to go back in if you came out). The school was empty. The hotel guests and workers moved to the back of the top floor. The robot is moving up to do its job. An armored dump truck has been moved in close to the car.
Bomb squad member checks again after the robot - and the truck has lifted the car. No bomb.
Many public workers - firemen, police, bomb squad - for four or five hours. Traffic snarled. This is not the first time our neighborhood is searched. A large luxury condo building at Western and Wilshire - -bomb search - bank buildings - the metro underground ….you get the idea.
All Photographs Copyright John Fritzlen