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Man Handed Minor Drug Ticket Following Pipe Bomb Scare

Portion of South Highland Street Closed for several hours Sunday.

The Arlington County Bomb Squad investigated a potential pipe bomb on South Highland Street this weekend. Patch file photo
The Arlington County Bomb Squad investigated a potential pipe bomb on South Highland Street this weekend. Patch file photo

A man authorities say was under the influence of narcotics this weekend was handed a minor drug citation after what appeared to be a pipe bomb in his car turned out not to be.

The man, whose name wasn't immediately available, pulled over in the 100 block of South Highland Street at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday and asked what turned out to be an off-duty police officer for directions, Arlington County Fire Lt. Sarah Marchegiani told Patch.

The officer saw drug paraphernalia and noticed the driver acting "strangely," she said, and so he called on-duty officers to the scene.

One of the officers spotted a "potential" pipe bomb in the man's back seat and called the Arlington County Bomb Squad, police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said.

A bomb technician determined the item was simply a pipe with a cap on each end. There were no fuses or anything inside of it, Marchegiani said. It was determined to not be a threat.

During this time, the man was taken to police headquarters and questioned. He received a summons for marijuana possession, Sternbeck said.

South Highland Street between Route 50 and 2nd Street South was closed for much of the afternoon.

Authorities cleared the scene at about 7 p.m., Marchegiani said.

Frederick C. Cassiday October 15, 2013 at 09:23 AM
Really???? The guy asks for directions and gets a record of drug possession? What was the suspicious behavior? Asking for directions? Real threats to our safety don't usually carry pipe bombs in plain view, nor do they openly carry paraphernalia. Our drug laws are sorely in need of reform. Our economic costs from the war on drugs are dragging our country down an ever larger drain. Join NOVA Norml and come to our monthly meeting at Bailey's Pub in Balston Mall the first Thursday of every month. https://www.facebook.com/novanorml

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