Bank cam catches glimpse of fire bomb suspect


by KING 5 News

Posted on January 6, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 6 at 6:14 PM

Possible suspicious package

View larger map

SEATTLE – Police have pictures of the person who left a fire bomb that failed to go off at a Chase Bank in South Seattle Friday morning.

The person is shown entering the bank near Martin Luther King Jr. Way and S. Othello Street wearing a dark jacket, a gray hood, a black mask, a hat and carrying a black bag.

Ericson Gonzales and his wife were trying to use an ATM at the bank around 6:30 a.m. when they discovered the device.

“There is like a plastic bottle there with some liquid thing inside, and a lighter inside. It sounds suspicious. So I said ‘Get out of the way!’” said Gonzales.

The device was in an ATM entryway, located between two sets of glass doors. Police say the only way anyone could have accessed it is to swipe their ATM card to get through the outer set of doors.

“It’s not a public area where somebody just off the street can walk in without having a card or something like that,” said Seattle Police spokesman Mark Jamieson.

The couple flagged down a police officer. Bomb squad and arson investigators closed down the immediate area. A bomb squad robot was used to investigate the incendiary device which was designed to ignite and burn.

The FBI is investigating.

“For someone who is going in and leaving a bottle there, they know the camera is there, that’s silly. That’s stupid,” said Gonzales.

Gonzales said he also spotted someone in an SUV parked outside the bank. It took off when Gonzales started walking toward it.

Police blocked off MLK Way about a block in each direction for about two hours. Sound Transit suspended Link Light Rail service between the Rainier Beach and Columbia City stations. Buses were used to transport passengers between those stations.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Arson Bomb Squad Office at (206) 684-8980.