Bomb Squad Dispatched A Short Distance From Academy Awards [Video]

The man parked his car near Hollywood Boulevard and Yucca Street. According to LAPD Officer Nuria Venegas, the man was later spotted walking with a propane tank in his hand.

Police officers arrested the man. The man told police that he also had two canisters of nitrous oxide, a non-flammable gas also known as laughing gas.

Bomb Disposal Robot Sent Out
A bomb disposal robot is seen investigating a suspicious item in a vehicle near the Dolby Theater ahead of the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 19, 2015. CREDIT: REUTERS/ROBERT GALBRAITH

According to Venegas, police found explosives in the man’s car and bomb squad investigators were called to the scene. LAPD closed off Hollywood Boulevard, Franklin Avenue, and Highland Avenue. Bomb squad investigators cordoned off a row of storefronts and the front entrance of a hotel across the street.

LAPD Responds To Bomb Scare
An LAPD officer blocks Highland Avenue after an incident outside the Dolby Theater during preparations ahead of the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 19, 2015. CREDIT: REUTERS/LUCY NICHOLSON

The Los Angeles Times reported firefighters and the bomb squad searched the man’s vehicle, including the suitcases and other items found inside the vehicle. However, the bomb squad determined there was no explosive device, according to LAPD Sgt. Barry Montgomery.

Police searched the area as a precaution and the driver of the Jetta, who was detained earlier, is being questioned.

Sgt. Montgomery told LA Times the following.

“You always have to be cautious. This is the Academy Awards. You always have to treat it as if there is more to it.”

LAPD Responds To Bomb Scare
A huge response by the police and fire departments to a car on Highland Avenue near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard over reports of explosives inside a car's trunk. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Bomb disposal technicians later detonated the items in question as a precaution, one officer said.

Visitors to the upcoming Oscars watched as a robot inspected the black car for explosives in a strip mall parking lot. Security instructed the visitors to step back from the windows as a loud boom was heard.

Mark Hagedorn, visiting Los Angeles from Hawaii, watched from the windows of the Loews Hollywood Hotel and reported what he saw.

“The trunk blew open and liquid came out. There was no smoke or fire. It shattered the lower bumper.”

The LAPD eventually declared the scene clear and streets were reopened.

According to Reuters, the incident unfolded at about 11:00 a.m. about a block away from the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, where the Dolby Theatre complex is located. The area around the Dolby is the site where the upcoming 87th annual Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday.

The area had been closed to traffic in preparation for the film industry’s highest honors. Bomb squad investigators and LAPD were on the scene for close to five hours before determining the area to be safe.

[Featured Image courtesy of Ian Waldie/Getty Images]