by Elizabeth Hur
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Quite a scare for a local lawmaker – A dangerous device is thrown at Pennsylvania State Representative Dwight Evans’ campaign office.
A 21-year-old man is in custody and police now believe he is responsible for two incidents.
Evans’ office was hit at about 4:30p.m. on the 7200 block of Limekiln Pike in the city’s West Oak Lane neighborhood.
Chopper 3 HD was over the scene as crews responded.
Two eyewitnesses, who asked that we don’t use their names, were working inside Evans’ Philadelphia Office when they say they didn’t know what hit them.
“I heard a pop. I hit the floor. I was under my desk so I just, I thought it was a firecracker until I saw the smoke. It was smoking outside of our office, that’s just serious and scary enough.”
Evans told Eyewitness News he was in Harrisburg at the time and he was informed that a bottle with a suspicious liquid was thrown at a window and bounced off.
Meanwhile, eyewitnesses called 911 and police, fire and ATF agents were on the scene within minutes. What they discovered outside the office on the sidewalk was a green mess – the remnants, police say, of a homemade device contained in a water bottle filled with some green fluid.
Chief Inspector Scott Small explained, “And this green liquid while it wasn’t explosive, it’s highly caustic, which means, it would burn your eyes, burn your skin and if it got in your eyes, it could actually blind you.”
Rep. Dwight Evans who rushed down to Philadelphia in response told Eyewitness News, “Strange if you notice, my name’s not up on this office, it’s just my campaign political office. So it’s not like it’s identified in any particular way.”
Evans was equally surprised to hear Simons Community Recreation Center, just two blocks away, was also hit with a similar device just a half hour earlier.
Evans said, “I don’t have a reason for why that person would just, in my view, spontaneously just do something like that. It’s disappointing to be honest with you. I’m happy nobody was, in the staff or anybody in the community was hurt.”
Again, authorities emphasize the device was not a bomb – as it was not explosive or flammable.
There are no reported injuries and the investigation into a motive is continuing.