NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A grenade that turned out to be a toy was found in a backpack near Herald Square Wednesday afternoon, police said.
Around 3 p.m., a man walked up to a police officer and handed him the backpack outside the building at 138 W. 30th St., where the NYPD Movie and TV Unit has offices, police sources told CBS2.
The officer opened the backpack and found what appeared to be a grenade, sources said. The officer tossed the backpack into a dumpster and asked for assistance, sources said.
A nearby building was evacuated, sources said.
The Bomb Squad was called to the scene and put a blast shield around the dumpster as a precaution, and an examination revealed that the grenade was not real, sources said. It was a novelty device and was inert, sources said.
But people nearby were alarmed.
“We were on our way back from lunch, and then as we were, like, walking, we just saw, like, a million cop cars,” said Raquel Cona. “They closed down the street. It was really scary.”
“With the pope coming too, I was like, calling everyone being like, ‘I hope you’re OK in the office,’” added Simone Leitner.
Police questioned the man who handed the officer the backpack and released him, sources said. The man had been collecting cans and gave the officers the unattended backpack, thinking someone had lost it, sources said.
The man did not know the toy grenade was inside, sources said.
No one will be charged in the incident.