UPDATED: Police respond to reports of possible explosive device in downtown Fayetteville

Staff photo

Police evacuated several downtown businesses and blocked off the streets surrounding the Washington County Courthouse Annex after receiving reports of a possible explosive device found in the area at around 1 p.m. Monday in Fayetteville.

Firefighters, police officers, and the city’s Hazardous Material Unit responded to the scene at Spring Street and College Avenue while waiting for the Bentonville Bomb Squad to arrive and investigate a “suspicious item” that was found by a bailiff in the bushes just north of the annex.

Officers used a bomb disposal robot to try and detonate the item, but upon closer examination discovered the item was a harmless PVC pipe with construction documents inside. Police said the pipe likely fell off a truck and landed in the bushes.

The area was cleared and opened by about 1:45 p.m.