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Suspicious item found in University of Florida dorm, causes temporary evacuation


A custodian found a suspicious item Tuesday morning on the first floor of North Hall, a dorm at the University of Florida, which brought police to the building in the afternoon and caused an evacuation.

Gabriel Garcia, a North Hall resident, said he was working in the lounge when a member of the custodial staff found a suspicious item on top of the towel rack.

“There were three test tubes stacked up like a pyramid,” he said. “They were taped together with some kind of liquid inside that looked like water.”

The custodian then called a supervisor, and floor residents were asked to evacuate.

Not long after, the entire building evacuated, and police arrived on scene.

The assistant director of the University of Florida Police Department, Maj. Brad Barber, said a K-9 unit went in first and assessed the item. Once it was determined safe, members of the UF Environmental Health and Safety Department removed it.

“It was not a bomb threat,” Barber said. “A UF Alert was not sent because the threat was isolated and contained. We saw no need to alert the community.”

Garcia said he didn’t think the item was dangerous and almost touched it.

“I just think one of my floor mates did it.” he said. “He probably put it there and didn’t even mean for it to blow up like this.”

At about 1:45 p.m., the building was reopened. Students said they understood the precautions taken given the week’s national news but soon grew impatient with the wait and the heat.

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