SEATTLE (AP) – Seattle police released surveillance images Friday of a person they suspect may have left a firebomb under an ATM inside a foyer at a Chase bank branch.
The firebomb, which never ignited, was discovered by a couple at the cash machine. The device had two clear bottles, a lighter in the middle and was wrapped in tape and wires, Ericson Gonzales told TV and radio reporters at the scene.
“I thought it was a movement-activated device, that might blow-up, so I told my wife, `get away, right away,'” Gonzales said. “I’m scared for my wife’s safety.”
Gonzales flagged down an officer and police responded at about 6:30 a.m. Friday to what was initially described as a suspicious package. A bomb squad used a robot to render the device safe, police said.
Police called the case an attempted arson. The surveillance images released Friday afternoon were shot at 3:16 a.m. Friday. The person was carrying a black satchel and wearing a blue hooded jacket, gray hooded sweat shirt, baseball cap, black mask covering the face below the eyes, blue jeans, dark shoes and black gloves, Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said.
The incident blocked Martin Luther King Jr. Way in south Seattle and shut down the nearby Othello station on the Sound Transit light rail line, which operates between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. Traffic was rolling again by 9 a.m.
Darcy Donahoe-Wilmot, spokeswoman for Chase Bank, said the bank was cooperating with police and the FBI.
Investigators were also looking at who used the ATM previously or entered the foyer, which is outside the main part of the bank and requires a card swipe to enter the area.
Gonzales also said he saw a gray Ford Ranger pickup speed off just after they found the device.
The incident follows a suspicious fire in November that damaged an ATM at a Bank of America branch in the Madison Park area of Seattle.
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