Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that an investigation of suspicious materials found within a vehicle has forced the temporary closure of Route 52 in the Hamlet of Carmel this afternoon.
At about 2:15 P.M. today (Thursday), the Sheriff’s Office received a report of an erratic driver of a car traveling southbound on Route 52 in Carmel. A few minutes later, Deputy Sheriff William Quick saw the car as it was passing the Putnam County Courthouse in the Carmel Hamlet and pulled the driver over.
When he approached the car, the deputy saw that the male driver, who was alone in the vehicle, had an unidentified red-colored liquid on his skin and clothes and had numerous electrical wires protruding from beneath his clothing. The man was also wearing metal knuckles on one hand. Visible within the passenger compartment of the car were jugs of unidentified liquids, a battery-pack, and walkie-talkie radios.
HazMat emergency responders and the Westchester County Bomb Squad were summoned to determine whether the materials found on the driver’s person or within the car were dangerous. Authorities evacuated persons from some businesses and offices near the scene and instructed persons in other nearby premises to remain inside.
The driver, who is described as acting emotionally disturbed, was taken into custody and transported to a secure outdoor area of the Sheriff’s Office for decontamination of his person before being taken to the hospital for mental evaluation.
The investigation, which is continuing as of the time of this News Release, has forced the temporary detouring of vehicle traffic on Route 52 between the intersections with Route 301 and U.S. Route 6 in Carmel.