Prank prompts bomb scare; local hotel evacuated

MARQUETTE – The Ramada Inn was evacuated Thursday afternoon after hotel staff spotted a suspicious package that was later deemed harmless, according to police.

The Marquette City Police Department received a report at 12:47 p.m. that a questionable package had been located by hotel cleaning staff.

Detective Capt. Gordon Warchock said employees found a plastic container with the word “boom” written on it sitting on a table in a patron’s room.

Warchock said a group of contractors staying in the hotel had given the container to the patron days before as a prank.

When the container was discovered Thursday, the man who was staying in the room had left town and had accidentally left the container on the table, according to Warchock.

“Cleaning staff called us when they found that,” Warchock said. “Nobody overreacted here.”

He said police determined the package was not dangerous and that there was no malicious intent. As a precaution, the hotel was evacuated for about 45 minutes while police investigated.

City police were assisted by the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’re happy with the cooperation we got from everybody involved,” Warchock said.

Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.