Police shut down a two-block stretch of Flatbush Avenue and evacuated a nearby mini mart after a suspicious package was reported Monday afternoon, according to authorities.
A police explosives specialist approached the package near Gold Street at around 4:20 p.m., and quickly sounded the all clear after discovering the presumed bomb was in fact a battery for an electric bike, according to a spokesman for the police department.
Around a dozen squad cars, explosive experts, two choppers, and multiple fire trucks were dispatched to secure the package and enforce police cordons at Myrtle Avenue and Tillary Street, which forced drivers to seek alternative routes and endure long delays, according to one motorist.
“This is going to be a good 40 minutes because of all this crazy traffic,” said Catherine Glover, who was heading south on Flatbush Avenue Extension on her way to Staten Island when she ran into the cordon.
First responders forced Flatbush Avenue convenience store Bolla Market to evacuate at around 3 p.m., and the manager was not happy to have to close shop.
“[The police officer] doesn’t give me like a second,” said Arbar Hossain. “I asked to pick up my phone and he said ‘no we are going out now.’”
The New York City Emergency Management system had sent a tweet at 3:39 p.m. warning drivers to avoid the area.
“Due to police activity, expect road closures and a heavy presence of emergency personnel near Flatbush Avenue from Myrtle Avenue to Tillary Street,” read the tweet. “Consider alternate routes and allow for additional travel time.”