Suspicious Incident at Md. Subway

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Suspicious Incident at Md. Subway

The Associated Press Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2001; 1:19 p.m. EDT

TEMPLE HILLS, Md. A Metro subway station just outside Washington was closed Tuesday after an armed man scuffled with a police officer and a jar with an unknown substance fell onto the platform, officials said.

Fire department hazardous-material teams in protective rubber suits responded after several people reported being sick.

Mark Brady, a Prince George's County Fire Department spokesman, said a man dispensed some type of product in the subway station.

"That product made people on the train sick, with dry throats and nausea," he said. About 15 people were isolated.

Officials who run the Metro subway system said a scuffle broke out between a transit officer and man on a train after the passenger pulled a knife and gun. The train stopped at the Southern Avenue station on the Green Line and the fight continued onto the platform.

Transit police took the man into custody. Officials said the officer and the armed man were not injured.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/aponline/20011009/aponline131952_000.htm

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), October 09, 2001

Answers

Suspicious Incident at Md. Subway By LAURIE KELLMAN Associated Press Writer

TEMPLE HILLS, Md (AP) _ An armed man sprayed a substance into a subway station Tuesday during a scuffle with police, leaving some 35 passengers and transit workers suffering from nausea, headaches and sore throats.

Authorities took the man into custody and said it did not appear to be a terrorist act.

"It appears at this point to be an isolated incident," said Prince Georges County Police Chief John Farrell.

Fire department hazardous-material teams in protective rubber suits responded and the sick were being decontaminated at the scene.

Officers said the man apparently had evaded paying the fare when he got on the train, then pulled out a pump-action bottle and sprayed the area in a struggle with police who asked for his identification.

At the next train stop, additional transit police boarded, and the man pulled out a gun and fired a single shot. No one was hit.

Prince Georges County Fire Department Capt. Chauncey Bowers said that after several hours of testing, authorities concluded that pepper spray used by officers may have made the passengers and workers sick.

"The irritation that was suffered quite possibly might have come from the pepper spray that was used to apprehend the suspect," he said. "All indications at the moment are that the substance is a cleaning solution." Bowers said those suffering from the symptoms were to be monitored for a several days in case of further symptoms.

Officials identified the suspect only as a 23-year-old male. They declined to provide any other information because he had not yet been charged by Metro transit police. The suspect was being detained at an area hospital, which police refused to name.

-- Buddy (buddydc@go.com), October 09, 2001.


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