NEWS

TV triggers bomb scare in Cambridge

Matt Dunning and David L. Harris

Police shut down Main Street near Bishop Allen Drive on Wednesday morning as a bomb squad investigated an abandoned television attached to a light pole.

Cambridge bomb squad Lt. Steven Ahern said a crew was dispatched at 7:05 a.m. to investigate a 15- to 19-inch TV strapped to the base of a light pole at the corner of Main Street and Mass. Ave.

The bomb squad used a robot to investigate and to take an X-ray of the device. Police discovered that the inside of the TV had been reinforced with plywood, and that the electric panel at the bottom of the light pole had been removed, which led police to believe the device was dangerous.

“That seemed suspicious,” Ahern said. “Whenever you see something like reinforcement like that, it’s cause for concern.”

Ahern said the squad destroyed the TV with a high-pressure water jet.

Police blocked traffic in a 300-foot radius around the site, which included Massachusetts Avenue, Main Street and Bishop Allen Drive.

Police are still investigating who left the device at the scene. Ahern said they’ve talked to multiple eyewitnesses who may have seen someone measuring the pole the day before.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Frank Mastromauro, owner of La Groceria restaurant, said. “I’ve been here for 37 years, and now I guess I’ve seen everything.”

Mastromauro said he and his staff were going through their morning routine, cooking and preparing the restaurant for the lunch rush, when police told them and everyone else on the block to evacuate.

“My chef was fighting with me when they told us to clear out,” Mastromauro said. “He said, ‘You don’t understand if I don’t take the pizzas out of the oven, they won’t be ready for lunch.’”

Cambridge Chronicle