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Hotel evacuated for two hours after suspicious discovery

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Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012 12:15 am

Patrons at a southwest Gainesville hotel evacuated for about two hours Wednesday afternoon after maintenance workers found something suspicious inside a room.

At about 3 p.m. Wednesday, Gainesville Police Department received a call from employees at the Paramount Plaza Hotel & Suites, at 2900 SW 13th St., who said they stumbled upon what they thought was a meth lab, said GPD spokesman Ben Tobias.

A Gainesville Fire Rescue Hazmat team and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office bomb disposal team were called to the hotel to assist GPD officers in the investigation.

The threat turned out to be a false alarm, and the device in the room was a plastic cup filled with colloidal silver, a liquid made of microscopic silver particles used as alternative medicine.

During the investigation, the room guest told investigators the liquid in the cup was his medicine, Tobias said.

At about 5 p.m., police allowed guests and employees to return to the hotel.

Tobias said police would not charge the man with any crimes and stressed that although the situation may have been inconvenient for the guests, safety was the priority.

“We’d rather pull out all the stops and take all the necessary safety precautions and have it be a false alarm rather than not take all the precautions and have people get hurt,” he said.

Contact Chris Alcantara at [email protected].

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