On Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 4:21 a.m., the Lee County Sheriff's Office received a call about a suspicious person. A white, male subject was described as not wearing clothes and waving his hands with raised arms as he walked along the middle of the Caloosahatchee River bridge south of Yankee Beach in North Fort Myers. The caller did not know if the individual was intoxicated or what state he was in. Deputies responded to the scene.
Upon arrival, deputies located the man and wrapped him in a blanket. He told deputies his vehicle had a bomb, indicating it was rigged to blow. His vehicle, a dark gray Hyundai was observed near the south exit to the park. The subject was assessed to be a danger to himself and transported to a health care facility under the Baker Act.
Due to the nature of the incident, the criminal history of the man and concern for public safety, the Southwest Florida Regional Bomb Squad was notified and responded to the scene. The team of experts utilized their robot, as well as employing direct observation wearing protective gear to examine the car. Items consistent with a potential explosive device were seen and the general area cordoned off as a safety precaution. North and south bound traffic on U.S. 41 was diverted.
Additional measures were taken to analyze the suspicious objects in and around the vehicle. Final assessment revealed there was no threat. The investigation has been turned over to Alpha District Detectives. The park remains closed, at this time, while the scene is processed. U.S. 41 has been reopened in both directions. Charges are pending further investigation.
Media inquiries are directed to the Public Information Officer at (239) 477-1340.