June 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM
Firecrackers, not gunshots, ignite Pioneer Square panic
Seattle police arrested a man early Saturday morning in Pioneer Square after his firecrackers set off a panic among people who thought they heard gunshots.
Officer Anh Hoang was patrolling near Occidental Avenue and Yesler Way around 1 a.m. when he heard several loud bangs that sounded like gunshots, police said. As Hoang drove in the direction of the noise he saw panicked people running through the streets.
Expecting to find a gunman running through Pioneer Square, Hoang spotted a man casually walking down the street, according to police. At one point, the man tossed something into the air, and the object sparked and then exploded.
The man then spotted Hoang and took off running, but officers chased the man through an alley and caught up to him a parking lot, police said.
The man apologized and claimed he had set off all of his fireworks. But police found more firecrackers hidden inside his backpack.
The man was arrested for investigation of reckless endangerment.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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