- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - A Massachusetts man has been arrested in connection with a hoax bomb that Boston police were forced to detonate after it was left next to a Department of Homeland Security vehicle.

Boston police say James Derepentigny was arrested in his hometown of Lawrence, hours after the suspicious package was found during a routine Homeland Security Department patrol near the Coast Guard office on Atlantic Avenue. Police say Derepentigny put the package next to the vehicle and hurried away.

The package appeared to be a suitcase with a floral print.

Police said an x-ray revealed it contained wires and an unidentified item that might be a “power source,” prompting them to destroy it just before noon in a controlled detonation that sent a boom echoing off nearby skyscrapers.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said police took a “better safe than sorry” approach to the incident, which shut down a major downtown artery in the middle of the workday as heavily armed tactical teams covered the area.

“Given what’s gone on across the country and given homeland security and the nexus of where he put the suitcase and seeing some components inside, we erred on the side of caution and neutralized it,” he told reporters earlier Friday.

Police expected to charge Derepentigny with planting a hoax bomb. He’s in police custody. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.

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