Suspicious packages left at Rowan Health Department forcing evacuation, road closures, turn out to be harmless

Suspicious packages left at Rowan Co. Health Dept.

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The Rowan County Health Department was evacuated Tuesday and citizens were asked to avoid the area due to two suspicious packages left inside. Investigators now say those packages contained only clothing items, toiletries, and personal items.

Officers with the Salisbury Police Department were called to the Health Department on E Innes Street around 11 a.m. after a man reportedly left two suspicious packages inside. Police say they were told “a well-dressed black male entered the Health Department carrying two packages.”

“Before he could articulate what he wanted, or needed, he became very anxious and had a number of backpacks and other luggage with him, and he ran from the building leaving some of that luggage and backpacks behind,” said Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes. “His behavior was so suspicious that out of an abundance of caution the staff called regarding those suspicious packages. We treated the backpacks as potentially dangerous devices.”

Police say the man told staff they were “important and valuable packages and he has to leave them there.” They say he set the packages down “then took off running through the parking lot.”

Officers evacuated the building and the parking lot. Both Faith Rd. and Innes St. were shut down from Avalon Dr. to Jake Alexander Blvd.

The Cabarrus County Bomb Squad assisted with the investigation.

The man will not face any charges, according to Chief Stokes.

“The male subject has since been contacted, we have him in our custody. he will not face any charges at this point that we are are of. We are reuniting him with his family and we are in the process of resolving the situation to get the Health Department back to normal business,” Chief Stokes said.

Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved.