Police discovered a suspicious device during a traffic stop Tuesday morning, closed portions of Decatur Boulevard and Sahara Avenue, and evacuated about 20 businesses for several hours.
At 9:17 a.m., officers stopped a man driving a Dodge Ram 3500 pickup on Sahara east of Decatur on suspicion of driving under the influence, said Barbara Morgan, spokeswoman for the Las Vegas police.
During the stop, police found that the 40-year-old Las Vegas man had a warrant for his arrest. He agreed to let police search his truck, and they discovered a suspicious device, Morgan said.
"It was deemed a threat to the public," she said.
Police stopped traffic in both directions on Sahara, from Valley View Boulevard to the 5100 block of Sahara, and on Decatur, from Edna Avenue to O’Bannon Drive.
ARMOR, a multi-agency hazardous materials squad, and the Las Vegas Fire Department’s bomb squad were called to investigate. The bomb squad’s robots searched the vehicle. An explosion was heard about 11:31 a.m.
"I appreciate the concern from Metro," said Rick Aco, owner of the nearby Samosa Factory who was stopped by police as he tried to walk to his restaurant on West Sahara. "It is a serious situation, but I just think it’s taking it too far to block off a major intersection."
Seconds later, the explosion could be heard from 500 yards away.
"Whoa, that didn’t sound good," Aco said.
Morgan wouldn’t identify the type of device, but she said, "We have since rendered the device safe."
Police said traffic was opened on Decatur at 1:15 p.m. and on Sahara by 2 p.m.
The driver was arrested on the warrant, and other charges might be added based on Tuesday’s investigation, Morgan said.
A passenger in the truck was released.
Contact reporters Antonio Planas at email@example.com or 702-383-4638 and Mike Blasky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0283.