Share This Page

L.A. campus evacuated, but police find nothing

| Thursday, April 18, 2013, 8:03 p.m.

LOS ANGELES — The campus of California State University, Los Angeles, was evacuated on Thursday when someone telephoned a bomb threat, but a police search turned up nothing, authorities said.

University spokesman Paul Browning said the school's president ordered the evacuation as a precaution at noon.

The El Monte Police Department, in suburban Los Angeles, received 911 calls at 10:37 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. from payphones about a mile apart in the center of the city, said Sgt. Roger Cobian, a spokesman for the department.

“The caller in each said there were bombs at both Cal State LA and ‘Cal State Berkeley,' ” Cobian said. The department informed Cal State LA and the University of California, Berkeley, of the threats and then turned over the investigation to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Cobian said the department believes the same person made both calls and that the person was likely male.

It was not immediately clear what action officials took at the Berkeley campus, which is about 350 miles from Los Angeles, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Los Angeles police spokesman Richard French said a bomb squad was dispatched to Cal State LA, but the search was called off at about 2:30 p.m.

The university east of downtown Los Angeles has about 20,000 students, though most aren't full-time.

Jon Beaupre, a journalism professor at Cal State LA, said the fire alarm went off at 12:15 p.m. in the middle of his lecture and the class followed normal evacuation procedures. When students arrived outside, they were told there was a bomb scare and the entire campus was being evacuated.

“That led to a mad dash, grabbing bags to get people out of here,” Beaupre said.

“Apparently we can get people out of the buildings, but getting traffic away from campus is not easy,” Beaupre said.

Two high schools also share Cal State LA's campus, and Beaupre said about 60 students could be seen milling around on a street corner after the evacuation.

Beaupre estimated that the evacuation involved about 8,000 students.

Browning said the university would likely not reopen Thursday.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.