Bomb squad continues to investigate Massachusetts car as crowd is pushed back

April 19, 2013By Mark Scheer Niagara Gazette

The New York State Police Bomb Squad's robotic bomb-detecting device continues to investigate a car with Massachusetts license plates on Elmwood Avenue as a gathering crowd of onlookers and press have been pushed back to the City Market area.

"We're approaching it as a hot zone, essentially,” said Capt. David LeGault of the scene at Elmwood Avenue, between 18th and 19th streets.

The crowd has been twice pushed back from the scene, first to Forest Avenue and 20th Street and now to City Market.

 Niagara Falls Police Superintendent Bryan DalPorto said two men are being detained.

DalPorto said the two men are not Russian nationals but would not comment further on the subject.

Photo Courtesy of the Niagara Gazette Larry Kensinger

The incident began shortly before 9 a.m. Friday. Falls police received a tip from a passerby of the car and the it was stopped by a patrolman. The two men in the car are being detained for questioning, DalPorto said.

Meanwhile, Falls and New York State Police have closed off Elmwood Avenue between 18th and 19th streets while the state police bomb squad's robotic device investigates the black Nissan.

“We're not sure of the contents of the car or what their activity is,” DalPorto said of the situation.

It's early in the investigation, said Capt. Craig Hanesworth of the New York State Police. 

“There are items in the car,” he said. “what they are, we don't know.”

Police were not evacuating the area behind City Market, but police were urging people to stay in their homes.