The Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City was evacuated for several hours Friday after bailiffs found a suspicious-looking bag near the courthouse.
But just before 2 p.m., nearly four hours after Salt Lake City police were alerted about the suspicious bag, they determined that the bag was not a threat.
Salt Lake City police Sgt. Robin Heiden said they were called around 10:30 a.m. Friday after bailiffs at the courthouse were conducting a sweep of the property and saw a black duffel bag sitting near a parking structure west of the courthouse, on 400 South between Main Street and State Street.
Heiden said the bag wasn't on courthouse property but was found on the east side of an adjacent five-level parking structure.
Once police decided to bring their bomb squad to the area to investigate, officials with the Matheson Courthouse decided to evacuate the building as a precaution, Heiden said. Those evacuations took place at about noon, and people were allowed back into the building just before 2 p.m. Friday.
Police officials said a robot "disrupted" the bag about 1:25 p.m., causing a small explosion. They were able to view the contents of the bag through a video stream and were able to determine that the contents of the bag were not a threat. Police said the bag was filled with "miscellaneous personal items."
There were no suspicious people reported in the area, Heiden said, and no threats were been made toward any officials.
"The reason why we are taking such precaution is because of where it is at, by the courthouse," she said.