Police: Suspicious car in NYC's Union Square not a threat

NEW YORK - (AP) - New York City police evacuated part of anapartment building and blocked off some streets near Manhattan'sUnion Square after a Thursday night report of a suspicious vehiclewith gas in the back seat, but nothing threatening was found. NYPD investigators located the owner of the 1991 OldsmobileCutlass Ciera, which was parked in front of the Con Edison utilitybuilding around 10 p.m. He told police he had the gas cans in hiscar because he mows lawns for his family. He parked the car in thearea because he was attending a concert nearby, police said. The bomb squad suited up and began an investigation after a ConEdison employee called 911 to report the vehicle as suspiciousbecause of the two gas cans in the back seat on the floor, saidChief Police spokesman Paul Browne. The city has been jittery since May 1, when a sport utilityvehicle loaded with gasoline and propane began smoking in TimesSquare but did not explode. Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-bornAmerican citizen, was arrested and charged federally in the case.Since that attempt, there have been several reports of suspiciousvehicles and packages around the city that have turned out to befalse alarms. Browne said several floors of a high-rise residential buildingwere evacuated and some streets in the area were blocked off as aprecaution. They were in the process of reopening. Union Square, located on Manhattan's East Side, is a majorpedestrian and tourist thoroughfare. New York University, GreenwichVillage, and the landmark Flatiron building are nearby. Earlier Thursday, President Barack Obama was in the city at afundraiser, and met with police officials to congratulate them ontheir counterterrorism efforts.

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