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Published September 15 2012

Guests allowed back into Radisson after bomb threat

FARGO – A bomb threat evacuated the downtown Radisson Hotel here for nearly two hours on Saturday evening, the region’s fourth such threat in a week.

Fargo police Lt. Joel Vettel said the threat was made in a phone call to Radisson staff a little before 6 p.m., at which point the hotel made the decision to evacuate guests.

After police officers arrived and performed a cursory search of the building, Vettel said it was determined that there was no validity to the threats made in the call.

“We don’t believe it’s a viable threat,” Vettel said. “There’s no indication that it was.”

Hotel guests – some wearing pajamas – were allowed back into the building around 7:40 p.m.

Saturday’s incident followed similar threats to the Fargo Hector International Airport on Tuesday, the Grand Forks International Airport on Wednesday and North Dakota State University on Friday.

Vettel said police are treating Saturday’s threat as separate, but are not ruling out the possibility that it’s related to the others made this week.

“We always treat them individually, but we also look at the possibility that they’re connected,” he said.

Mark Lykke, from Spencer, Iowa, was staying at the hotel with his family, and was among the dozens of guests – including at least two separate wedding parties – that were forced to the street.

Lykke said a Radisson staff member called his room to tell him to evacuate, but was not specific about the threat made to the hotel.

“They called the rooms one at a time,” he said. “They said ‘You can take the elevator, but you have to evacuate.’”

Lykke was in town for a family member’s surprise birthday party, but those plans were postponed because of the threat.

“We were supposed to be at my father’s house at 7, and I called and said we weren’t going to make that,” he said. “We were going to have a surprise tonight, but we didn’t expect this.”

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535