Last Updated: 7:14 p.m.
7:06 Update–As it turned out, it was not a bomb. It was a tackle box. Full of “fishing plugs, sinkers, and things like that, so there was no indication that was related to a bomb,” Flagler Beach Police Sgt. Frank Parrish said just after 7 p.m.
The ammunition box in the grass at the foot of the Barracuda Bay motel had the south side of the city alternately frightened and entertained for the latter part of the afternoon, and had prompted the dispatch of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office’s Bomb Squad. Fortunately for everyone involved, “believe it or not it was a tackle box, or used a s tackle box,” Parrish said.
Nobody is regretting the excess of caution. “When we called them and they say we’ll be there within driving time, that means they’re concerned about it too,” Parrish said. “It was good training for everybody, if nothing else.”
State Road A1A between 10th and 13th Streets was closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic from 3:45 to 7 p.m. All traffic returned to normal after that.
The previous story is below, with additional pictures at the foot of the story.
You can see it. The familiar-looking green, military-style ammo box. It’s sitting in the grass, at the foot of the Barracuda Bay Motel in Flagler Beach, at South 12th Street and State Road A1A. The box is being treated as suspicious, and it has triggered a bomb scare, shutting down A1A between South 11th and South 13th.
The no-traffic zone was later extended to South 10th Street to enable bomb-squad units to stage south of that block.
The box was discovered and reported to police at 3:45 Sunday afternoon, causing evacuations of the Barracuda and the Beachhouse Beanery, which is immediately next door.
Most likely it’s nothing: more than 95 percent of bomb scares turn out to be false alarms.
But authorities in Flagler Beach are taking no chances. The bomb squad from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, which has an automated, remote-controlled vehicle that can retrieve packages as well as a mobile detonating chamber, is on its way. At least one St. Johns unit had arrived by 5:50 p.m., but not the remote-controlled device.
The emergency hasn’t entirely disrupted the Memorial Day weekend: beach-goers are not letting it alter the serenity of their sunbathing, or children’s water-waddling and sandcastle building, even in the stretch of beach that, at street level, has been shut down to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
The Flagler Beach Police Department, the Flagler Beach Fire Department and the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office are at the scene. Some of the fire department’s personnel is in full gear, and sheriff’s deputies are donning enormous flack jackets and other gear. Traffic has not backed up, and the situation will likely be resolved by late afternoon.
The robotic unit arrived at 5:10 p.m.
Carol Fisher, owner of the Beanery, was not at the business when the incident unfolded, having left about an hour earlier. “I got a phone call from Kayla, our girl who was working, and we closed at 3,” Fisher said, “she was the only one left, she was going through the closing process. The police came and told her there was a suspicious package and they were closing down the place and she had to leave immediately.”
There had been no odd activity all day at the Beanery or around it. “We were very busy there today, I left at about 2,” she said. “No one ever noticed anything going on in the neighborhood.”
When the robotic bomb-squad unit arrived, the package was going to be X-rayed by the unit before being taken possession of and placed in a bomb-proof container. It would either be detonated or further analyzed–for example, by having the robotic arm open the lid.
The incident by 5 p.m. had gathered dozens of people at the corner of South 10th and A1A, who lounged in beach chairs and did the obligatory thing at such scenes: took pictures with their iphones, Facebooked, Tweeted and reflected on the contrast between their sleepy town’s nature and such a potentially noisy–but most likely non–event.
Nevertheless, for Flagler Beach, between this scare, the Flagler Beach City Commission’s latest bout of cage-fighting and the just-concluded Paul Miller murder trial, Flagler Beach’s “small-town” monicker was not quite an accurate fit this week.
fla native says
Have we grown so paranoid that an old abandoned ammo box that you can by everyday at Gander Montain freaks people out? Good grief!
concerned citizen says
Sir, in case you forgotten 09/11/01 and the recent Boston Marathon bombing I believe that we have every reason to be paranoid. I was one of the personnel on-scene. It would not be a good idea to just go open an old ammo box that someone left in a congested area.
this is your president, hard t work, making us all paranoid. and don’t forget the new policy “snitch on your neighbor”.
Lt Dan says
Oh No..Not the dreaded ammo box that was probably some fisherman’s tackle box. Has the whole country become so paranoid that an everyday green waterproof box laying in the grass has to become a terrorist plot.
To much…REALLY ???? How much did this cost the taxpayer ? REALLY ???
I’m sorry, but it just flat-out looks to me like “the terrorists have won”, if we’re just going to keep freaking out over unbelievably stupid stuff like this. This psychological “conditioning” tactic to teach me and everyone else to be scared of every little thing is getting tiresome.
Wow but I’m sorry you can never be too safe these days. People are sick, just look mass shootings and other bombings that happened this past year. How much did this cost the tax payers??? Who cares! The city was protecting its citizens and visitors this Memorial Day weekend! Good job to all the police and fire for protecting me and my children.
god bless those that stand on that line for us
Bill Hazz says
I hope the idiot who left it there comes forward to get it back. And is handed a bill as well.
I see no problem in the cautious reaction by Officials. You only have to think back to the Boston Marathon for whack jobs who have murder on their mind.
Just a thought says
These nay-sayers would have said the same thing if they did this for a back pack left at the finish line of a marathon.
I loved the picture with the title” close call” made the whole thing seem worth it.
Call me a naysayer all you want–there is no denying that if life stops for every single instance of this kind of thing, then The Terrorists Have Won. And life stopped for this. The traffic stopped. The holiday weekend stopped. The “off” time for the first responders stopped. LIFE STOPPED until 2 or 3 dozen different people from miles around this area determined that a box sitting outside a building across from a vast expanse of waterfront was, in fact, someone’s tackle box.
What I need to understand–and again, and again, media never seems to detail–who called this Incident in, to where all these things STOPPED? All these articles ever say are words like this: “the box was discovered and reported to police at 3:45 Sunday afternoon”. Who called this in, Flagler Live? Is it too much to ask to try and get more information to this end? Will the cops not tell you? Do you even ask? What do they say? This is an important part of these stories. Why is that information never conveyed?
Seminole Pride says
A Ammo Container commonly used for a tackle box. Next to the Ocean. Come on people use your brains !! My dog could figure that one out.
Hysteria…At least we got to see some neat stuff that works! Now lets see how this will be used as another scare-source for June 7th. I’m such a nay-sayer.
The Geode says
I agree with “DLF”. Dayum….
Shane Wood says
For all the “Nay-Sayers”, here is a copy of an article from back in March of 2007:
Just like yesterday, a ammo can was found on Flagler Beach. This time, it wasn’t a tackle box. So here’s the question, can we really ever be to careful?
Be afraid…. Be very afraid…
but i guess a random package does look “fishy”….but at least they “tackled” the situation and “wreeled ” in the problem….
Think About it says
If it looks like a duck, then it usually is a duck…Thank God is wasn’t a duck….Good work St John’s !!
In God We Trust says
Unfortunately we live in a world where the unpredictable can happen at any given time.
To the reporters, thank you for doing your jobs, obviously the article was read……..Point made or this conversation would not be taking place.
To the response teams, The citizens of Flagler Beach can not be more grateful for all of you for risking your lives for us.
To the ignorant people that feel it was wasted time take notes………. Human Life = PRICELESS.
It’s not about it being a waste of time. Again–and I fail to understand why this can’t be emphasized enough, but this site seems to think otherwise–if we’re all running around scared all the time, we’re no longer “free” and we lose.
To call that ignorant is not looking at the big picture–it’s living with tunnel vision.
Lop Murdoch says
This is idiotic. I agree. The terrorists have won. The government has won. This is Flagler Beach, not Boston.
Terrorist: “I know, I will disguise the bomb by using an ammo box! Certainly no one would find that suspicious! Then, I’ll place the bomb at the most populated part of Flagler Beach! 13th st and A1A!!! ” I’ll bet all those sheriff’s dept hot shots got laid that night.