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Suspicious item inside backpack led to a several block shut down in St. Petersburg

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Posted at 10:16 AM, Jul 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-22 15:20:09-04

NOON UPDATE | A man spotted with a suspicious device in a backpack in a McDonald's parking lot in St. Petersburg has been arrested, police said.

Andrew Bryant, 37, was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, one count of carrying a concealed weapon, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, the St. Petersburg Police Department said.

The suspicious device was confirmed to be a homemade device used to make narcotics and not an explosive device, the police report said.

ORIGINAL STORY | A backpack with a suspicious device was blown up outside of a McDonald's restaurant on Tyrone Boulevard early Saturday, authorities said.

At about 9:30 p.m. Friday, a St. Petersburg police officer responded to the McDonald's at 2315 Tyrone Blvd. for a call about a man who had been sitting in a car in the restaurant parking lot for about five hours, the St. Petersburg Police Department said.

When the officer arrived, the unidentified man appeared to be under the influence. He also had a backpack with a suspicious looking device inside.

Police officers evacuated nearby restaurants and businesses and closed Tyrone Boulevard and 66th Street to traffic from about 10 p.m. Friday to 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

The Tampa Bomb Squad responded and detonated the device on site, a police report said.

No one was injured.

The man was taken to an area hospital to be checked out. 

Charges are pending.