BOZEMAN – A man is in custody, and a major road in Bozeman is back open after police say a suspect tried to rob a casino and then escaped on foot Saturday.
Police said the possibility of an explosive left behind prompted a widespread investigation.
Law enforcement was active at the scene throughout most of the morning and some of the afternoon, clearing up around 3 p.m.
Detective Sgt. Joe Swanson of the Bozeman Police Department told MTN this incident was a serious one.
“We’re playing everything safe,” Swanson said. “We don’t know what is inside.”
Bozeman police swarmed around the Magic Diamond Casino this morning after a call about a potential robbery and a report of something possibly worse.
“It appeared that a robbery attempt had just been made by an individual,” Swanson said. “There was also some indication there might have been some type of device left inside of the building.”
Swanson said while the suspect wasn’t there, he may have left something behind.
“The suspect had fled the area. Right now, there’s no threat to the public. We do have a suspect in custody,” Swanson said. “Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office responded at our request, basically their bomb squad, so they are working now inside the casino to determine what this device is.”
“I looked out my window,” said Kelly Moore, who came upon the scene early Saturday morning. “I live on Professional Drive. The traffic is backed up, and I start to think, what’s going on?”
Moore lives and works nearby.
She told MTN the sight from her window was not one of her usual neighborhood.
“It’s my neighborhood,” Moore said. “I’ve lived here for a long time and I’m kind of surprised about this going on.”
Detective Swanson claimed all four lanes of Main Street had to be shut down for a reason.
He said while he cannot confirm the presence of a bomb, the bomb squad quickly made the situation safe.
“I know it is a huge inconvenience for everyone in town,” Swanson said. “Everyone’s been great. They’ve been paying attention to the signs and staying out of the way. I’m sure the impact is going to be felt greatly all over town and we are just doing this out of an over-abundance of caution.”
He added that a suspect is now in custody and that this was an isolated situation.
Moore, the onlooker, hopes it never happens again.
“Nobody wants this happening in their neighborhood, but it is my neighborhood, and I have to protect it in any way that I can,” she said.
Detective Swanson said that no one was hurt in the course of this investigation and that it is still ongoing.
The suspect should appear in court for his arraignment next week.
-Reported by Cody Boyer/MTN News