Suspicious vehicle at hotel deemed safe; Whiskey Rd. open to traffic

  • Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 11:05 a.m.
    UPDATED: Thursday, April 18, 2013 6:46 p.m.

Local law enforcement have deemed safe a suspicious vehicle parked at a Whiskey Road hotel.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Department received a call at approximately 8:22 a.m. about a suspicious vehicle at the Country Inn & Suites at 3270 Whiskey Road.

The deputies found a Ford Explorer with a few gas cans and a propane tank underneath the vehicle. Deputies secured the scene and closed Whiskey Road from Citadel Drive to Talatha Church Road. Occupants of the hotel were moved to the far end of the building. Everyone around the scene was moved to at least 300 feet away from the vehicle.

"Since then, SLED bomb folks have dismantled the gas can and the cylinder. At this time, nothing was hooked to them as far as wires go. Nonetheless, it was still suspicious," said Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt. "As you know, 9/11 changed the way we do business. Certainly things that have happened in the past couple of days throughout country have heightened that, but this is the way we do business every day in Aiken County when it comes to suspicious packages."

The SUV has Florida tags, and law enforcement have located the owner. The owner is with an out-of-town construction outfit that was working at a site where these cans and cylinders are not allowed, so they parked their vehicle with those items at the hotel.

"At this time, this vehicle has been deemed clear of any explosives and deemed safe by the SLED bomb tech folks," said Sgt. Jason Feemster with the Sheriff's Office.

Whiskey Road is open again to traffic.

Rumors of a "suspicious person" seen walking from the scene are unsubstantiated, according to Hunt.

"We don't have anything about a suspicious person walking around," he said.

Chukker Creek Elementary is no longer under a soft lockdown.

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