By Chris Sheppard
WOONSOCKET, R.I. - Woonsocket police detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding a suspicious backpack placed outside a home on Cass Avenue on Saturday, and some are calling for authorities to investigate it as a hate crime.
A spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Sunday that someone had written "USA Bomb" on the backpack, along with other writing. So far, authorities have not yet found definitive evidence that the incident is a hate crime.
The State bomb squad was called to a home on Cass Avenue Saturday after neighbors called police, concerned about a backpack that someone left in the driveway next door. Fortunately, police determined the backpack was safe.
Police say around 8 p.m. Saturday night, people living next to 325 Cass Avenue noticed a backpack leaning up against the back of the building, became concerned and called police.
State bomb investigators arrived on scene and cordoned off the area. It is not clear how the bomb squad investigated the backpack's contents, but police determined the backpack contained only clothes and a hat.
State Police cleared the scene by about 9:45 p.m. "It's good that people are aware and are noticing this stuff," Detective Jamie Paone said.
Woonsocket has seen a spike in bomb-related scares in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Woonsocket High School was evacuated twice this past week for bomb threats, as recently as Friday.