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HFP

Police call in bomb squad after suspicious ammo can found outside GOP headquarters in Wisconsin

Police car (Alexandru Cuznetov/Dreamstime/TNS)

A suspicious package found outside the Republican Party headquarters in Hudson, Wis., on Tuesday morning was a military-style ammunition container that had “several obstructions and wires” protruding from it but was not a threat to public safety, police officials said.

Bomb-squad technicians found that the container was full of “miscellaneous materials” that were not dangerous, said Police Chief Geoff Willems.

“We do not believe that the device was left with the intention of creating a panic,” he said. “We believe it was a misplaced package.”

The package was discovered around 8:50 a.m. Tuesday outside the party headquarters in the River City Center at 121 Second St. The discovery led to traffic delays and nearby businesses being evacuated as authorities investigated.

Hudson officials placed trucks full of dirt in front of the headquarters, and the Marathon-Oneida County Bomb Squad responded to the scene, Willems said.

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“Every place on this block has been evacuated,” he said, adding that investigators from the FBI and the ATF were on site. “I would expect traffic delays in downtown Hudson for the next several hours and to please avoid the downtown area.”

No one was in the Republican Party headquarters when the package was discovered, he said.

Willems said police on Tuesday afternoon were reviewing video footage taken from nearby security cameras.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin asks that anyone with information regarding the incident contact the authorities, said Andrew Hitt, chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

“We have differences in our views, in our philosophies and our vision for America, but violence or threats of violence cannot stand because such actions lead to potential destruction that can’t be overcome,” Hitt said. “We are grateful that everyone is safe at this time and we hope that the situation is swiftly and safely resolved.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Hudson police at 715-386-4771.

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© 2020 the Pioneer Press