Police safely remove bottle bomb from residence area

AMES, Iowa -- Shortly after 2 p.m. today, Iowa State University Department of Residence staff reported a suspicious bottle outside the Frederiksen Court apartments, located on the northeast side of campus, to ISU Police.

The plastic bottle, pressurized with an unknown caustic liquid and some sort of chemical packet, was found on the lawn at the southeast corner of building 33, north of a basketball and volleyball court. A similar plastic bottle, discovered in a nearby trash barrel, also appeared to have had a caustic substance in it at one time.

ISU Police officers followed standard protocol by sealing off the area, donning protective equipment and requesting assistance from the Ames Fire Department and the university's Environmental Health and Safety department. The State Fire Marshal's Office also was contacted.

Officers and EH&S workers used a pellet gun to relieve pressure on the bottle, then safely contained it and removed it from the area. ISU Police have retained the bottle as evidence.

Police are asking students, faculty and employees to be aware of their surroundings and immediately report any suspicious activity to ISU Police by calling 911 or 294-4428.

Jerry Stewart, director of ISU's Department of Public Safety, emphasized that safety of the community is paramount. "Individuals should not pick up or approach suspicious-looking items," he said. "Call the ISU police."