FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A heavy police presence near the Selland Arena in Downtown Fresno caught public attention Thursday night after reports of a suspicious package.
The Fresno Police Department confirmed just before 11:30 p.m. the package was a bag of clothes and posed no threat to public safety.
Initially, police said at about 7:00 p.m., they responded to a call from Selland Arena personnel about a suspicious package that appeared on the east end of the arena on a loading dock next to Valdez Hall.
Officials state the unmarked package, no bigger than a backpack, raised concern to arena officials as it randomly popped up before the Disney on Ice show with hundreds of people in the area. No one claimed the package, and given current events down south, arena officials did not want to take any chances.
Upon arrival, authorities asked arena officials if they wanted to continue the show or evacuate the building of 2,500 to 3,000 people. Selland Arena personnel chose to continue the show.
Fresno police contacted their Explosive and Ordinance Disposal Team (EOD) who are actively attempting to decipher the contents of the suspicious package.
Authorities are saying they expect to be at the scene for a while as these kinds of incidents take time. They express how important it is for them to take their time in case the contents of the package are dangerous.
As the show was coming to an end, officials say audience members were advised of a heavy police presence on the east end of the arena and were told to exit the arena on the west end.
Police had east and westbound Ventura Avenue open while M, O, and Inyo streets were closed off. Police urged people at the event to rideshare instead of waiting.