Suspicious package reports forces evacuation of Purdue sports center

January 20, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center on Tuesday (Jan. 20) was evacuated and scheduled to remain closed until 7 p.m. after a suspicious package was reported to police.

Purdue police were called around 3:10 p.m. after center staff said that someone reported a man who was acting suspiciously dropped a book bag inside the center, then fled from the building. The man, who was identified as a Purdue student, was found hiding in the center parking lot and was detained by responding officers. The investigation is ongoing.

As a precaution, emergency personnel evacuated the center while the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department Bomb Detection Unit examined the package, which was then removed from the building and disrupted. The contents were found to be harmless materials.

Purdue police were assisted by the Purdue University Fire Department.

Representatives from the university’s Office of the Dean of Students also were called to the center to provide assistance to students who had to leave personal effects, including keys, behind as they evacuated the facility.

"Even though the package turned out to not be dangerous, everyone responded in precisely the way we would hope," said John Cox, Purdue police chief. "Someone saw suspicious activity and took action to help ensure the safety of others. I urge anyone who sees a package that is suspicious, abandoned or out of place to report it to the police or fire department immediately. When the public's safety is involved, there is no such thing as being too careful."

Writer: Brian Zink, 765-404-2080,

Source: John Cox,

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