DADE CITY — A suspicious back pack found under a bench resulted in the partial evacuation of the East Pasco County Government Center this morning, but it ended up being a false alarm.
A security guard on routine patrol noticed a blue and gray unattended backpack on the north side of the government building about 10:47 a.m.. When no one claimed it, the guard called Dade City police.
Officers called the Tampa bomb squad "out of an abundance of caution," Dade City Police Chief Ray Velboom said. Half the government center closest to the back pack was evacuated.
Tax Collector Mike Fasano, whose office was on the other side, closed his office as a precaution, his chief aide Greg Giordano said.
A bomb-sniffing dog inspected the backpack and did not signal any explosives. Officers then opened the back pack to find only Gatorade and crackers, Velboom said.
Employees were allowed back inside by 12:20 p.m. The Tax Collector's Office has since reopened.