Pre-9/11 scare shuts Schuyler Ave.

By Karen Zautyk

A suspicious object placed on the 9/11 memorial fence above Zadroga Field forced the closing of Schuyler Ave. from Noel Drive to Park Ave. last Thursday night, authorities reported.
Police Chief Louis Ghione told The Observer that his department received a report of a red container “attached to the fence in a questionable manner.”
Schuyler Ave. was closed to traffic from about 8:45 p.m. to 10:35 p.m. while local authorities, including Hazmat personnel and firefighters, responded to the scene. The Bergen County Bomb Squad was called in, X-rayed the container and found that it was not dangerous.
Ghione said it turned out to be part of a Geocaching game — a type of “treasure hunt” involving the use of personal GPS devices. Police were able to determine it had been innocently placed there by a 62-year-old Kearny man, who had had no intention of creating a scare.
Law enforcement personnel throughout the N.Y. metropolitan area had been on high alert in preparation for the 10th anniversary of the attacks and attendant reports of possible new terrorist acts — large or small.
The fence, at an overlook with an unobstructed view across the meadows to Manhattan, was where local residents had gathered a decade ago to watch the horror unfolding. It has since become a memorial, always bearing new American flags, fresh flowers and messages of remembrance.
It is also located directly behind Holy Cross Cemetery, where the formal dedication of a massive 9/11 memorial was scheduled last Sunday, an event expected to draw at least 2,000 people.

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