By RANDY GONZALES
A Wisconsin man has been arrested in connection with the investigation of an improvised explosive device discovered in the 100 block of West 10th on Friday morning in downtown Hays.
Steven Wright, 22, Rice Lake, Wis., was arrested on suspicion of criminal use of explosives, possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana. According to a press release from the Hays Police Department, Wright is being held on an out-of-county warrant.
“The initial investigation indicates this was an isolated incident of an individual using extremely poor judgment,” the press release states.
An improvised explosive device was investigated Friday morning in the 100 block of West 10th in downtown Hays.
"The Hays Police Department, the Kansas Highway Patrol and the state fire marshal's office are currently trying to dispose of the IED, which is parked in the 100 block of West 10th," Hays Chief of Police Don Scheibler said at 8 a.m.
The scene had been cordoned off since 1 a.m., when an IED was discovered in a vehicle during a traffic stop.
"It's an explosive device," Scheibler said. "Got the area secure, keep people out of the area, nobody in danger at this time."
Howard Droegemeier, who works at Northwestern Printers, 114 W. Ninth, noticed orange cones in the area as he arrived for work at 5:20 a.m. He didn't think anything of it, thinking it was perhaps sewer repairs in the area. Approximately 10 minutes later, a Hays policeman knocked on a window at the business.
"He said we have a situation on Ninth and 10th streets, need to evacuate the premises," Droegemeier said. "He said make sure you leave and vacate the way you came in."
The police department asked businesses and pedestrians to stay out of the area while personnel was brought in to further investigate.
Just after 9 a.m., Scheibler said the item was removed from the area, which was reopened to the public.