Suspicious Bags Close Lewis And Clark Bridge

Photo above: Items in the bags

The Lewis and Clark Bridge over the Columbia River between Longview and Rainier was closed for nearly four hours Monday, because of two suspicious bags that were hanging over the bridge. 

Drivers saw a man using a rope to hang the bags over the bridge.

Oregon State Police didn’t know what was inside, so the bridge was closed and the Bomb Squad was called to investigate.

The items appeared to be two backpacks suspended by a rope that was tied off to the bridge railing.

Additionally, the US Coast Guard restricted the Columbia River traffic during this time. 

The OSP Bomb Unit deployed a remote robot, which was used to initially x-ray the bags. The contents of that examination were inconclusive. The Bomb Unit next utilized a high pressure water cannon mounted on the robot to safely reveal the contents of the bags. The bags were determined to contain non-hazardous items like clothing and miscellaneous personal property. 

Police arrested the suspect, 61-year-old Samuel Owen, from Rainier. Owen has been arrested for 1st Degree Disorderly Conduct and possession of a user quantity of methamphetamine and is being lodged at the Columbia County Jail. This incident was the result of a dispute between OWEN and another individual and there is no risk to the public's safety. 

Photo below: Samuel Owen

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