Bathurst — Late Monday afternoon, a government office in Bathurst was evacuated as there was a suspicious package left outside the main entrance that had people on high alert. After all employees were confirmed safe, RCMP were able to determine that the package was simply a box full of books meant to be donated to a local Value Village.
“I saw the package and didn’t remember ever having seen anything like that before,” exclaimed Justin Kleary, who was the first to report the unknown package to his supervisor. “Then my boss came down to see it and brought a few other co-workers with him and no one knew what to make of it — that’s when the hysteria began to set in.”
The Manatee spoke with witnesses who said that people were acting very paranoid about the open box and became legitimately worried when they suspected it may be a bomb. It was reported that at that time, someone pulled the fire alarm to get everyone out of the building as quickly as possible.
“I saw the box myself and was terrified,” recalled Julianne Depres, who pulled the alarm. “There were a bunch of rectangular-looking tablets filling the box, all with a bunch of boldly printed words on them. I didn’t know what to think except that these things looked very foreign and scary and I needed to get people to a safe place.”
Our reporter was able to speak with Lieutenant Brookyln Fardy who was the first officer on-site.
“I started taking witness accounts of the package right away and no one was able to clearly articulate what it is that they saw. Some were comparing it to a box filled with blocks with words on them — but no one was able to identify the objects,” she said.
“So, I went to check it out myself. I looked inside the box really cautiously and recognized immediately that it was just a bunch of old books — crisis averted.”
It was later found that Peter Barr, a 28-year-old local, had accidentally sparked such concern by leaving the box in front of the building.
“I was going through my father’s old stuff,” he embarrassingly confessed. “I didn’t know what those things were. So, I took them to a local antique dealer who told me they were worthless. I was heading toward the donation centre, put them down in front of this building where I stopped to use the bathroom, and kind of forgot about them until I saw it on the news later that day.”