NJ Turnpike reopens after scare

January 20, 2009 7:47:53 PM PST
A police investigation closed a 30-mile stretch of the NJ Turnpike for more than two hours. State police pulled over a vehicle by Interchange 3 in South Jersey at 6:15 p.m.

New Jersey State Police spokesman Sgt. Stephen Jones said troopers took a 27-year-old man into custody following a car stop around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday in the southbound lanes of the turnpike near Exit 3 in Woodbury Heights.

Jones said state police stopped a Black Acura after receiving information that the driver might be armed and dangerous, and possibly carrying a bomb.

Traffic was diverted onto Interstate 295 between Exit 4 in Mount Laurel and Exit 1 at the southern terminus of the toll road near the Delaware Memorial Bridge while police investigated.

Shortly after 8:030 p.m., police said the individual taken into custody was cooperating. He did not have any explosives.

"Indications are this was erroneous information, albeit credible-sounding information, and at this point it seems to indicate that this was not a legitimate threat," Jones said.

Jones said FBI agents were still questioning the man - who was not charged - late Tuesday at the state police station in Moorestown.

According to a source, the suspect's mother is emotionally disturbed. She has apparently phoned in fake tips about him before.

The northbound lanes of the highway were completely reopened by 9:35 p.m. and the southbound lanes by about 10:15 p.m. after the investigators completed their inspection.

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