Police: Intoxicated man left suspicious backpack - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Police: Intoxicated man left suspicious backpack

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HURLEY (WAOW) - Hurley police say a suspicious backpack that prompted a bomb scare near a mining company's office got dropped there by a "very intoxicated" man.

Hurley Police Chief Dan Erspamer said Wednesday a man from Ironwood, Mich., had misplaced it and couldn't remember where.

The backpack was wedged between a newspaper stand and the Gogebic Taconite office and was discovered Saturday morning.

An area near the mining office was blocked for hours while a bomb squad from Wausau was summoned to make sure no bomb was inside, given the controversy over the mine and U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., having a planned meeting in a nearby restaurant, police said.

The proposed mine is near the Bad River band of Lake Superior Chippewa's reservation. The tribe and conservationists are against it, fearing it would pollute the region.

Erspamer said Wednesday the owner's name was in the backpack and when contacted he did know know where he had placed it during a night of drinking.

"He stated he was very intoxicated," Erspamer said. "When he went to retrieve it on Saturday morning, he could not find it."

The man said he didn't report the backpack missing because it also contained some illegal drugs, the police chief said.

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