Police: Man with “crisis symptoms” left package at Burlington diocese

Local News

South Burlington police say a man who left a package outside the Roman Catholic Diocese building, triggering a call to the state police bomb squad, will not be charged.

Officers were called to the diocese at 44 Joy St. shortly after 3 pm Monday after a man arrived with a package and asked to speak to Bishop Christopher Coyne. Staff told police the man appeared to be in crisis and made them uncomfortable.

The man, who has not been identified, left after leaving the package in an exterior alcove.

When police arrived, they found what they described as a package that resembled an “improvised explosive device.” The Vermont State Police Bomb Squad was called and the building and surrounding outdoor area were evacuated.

Meanwhile, using video surveillance footage, the police identified the man and broadcast a “be on the lookout” advisory to other law enforcement agencies. Before he was located, the man called Vermont State Police to offer more details on his visit to the diocese.

Investigators met and interviewed the man and determined that he meant no harm. The bomb squad also determined the package was not an explosive or “hazardous in any way.”

South Burlington police issued a statement Tuesday, saying no charges will be filed and the man was given “referrals to local support networks for his crisis symptoms.”

“It was determined that the male subject had no criminal intent but the manner in which he presented; the suspicious package he left behind, and the erratic behavior he displayed with investigators warranted the response of public safety witnessed [Monday].”

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