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It’s probably never a good idea to announce, within earshot of a police officer, that you’re carrying a bomb.
It’s an especially poor idea when you’re right outside the White House.
And it crosses the line into an especially lousy idea when what you’re actually carrying in your backpack is… marijuana.
According to charging documents, Michael Joseph Hutchinson, 32, of Fort Washington, Md., was arrested after he exclaimed: “I got a bomb!”
Hutchinson made his declaration at around 5:00 on the 4th of July, as he strolled down the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue NW, the documents claim. He was immediately stopped by a Park Police officer and then detained by the Secret Service. Authorities took his “green backpack from him and set it on the street.” They soon cleared throngs of July 4th revelers from the block and from adjacent Lafayette Square.
In the documents, the Park Police officer who overheard Hutchinson says he had just finished a conversation with the suspect. Hutchinson, he says, needed to know where the fun was: He allegedly approached the officer to ask for directions “to the ‘Smoke Out’ demonstration at Henry Bacon Field.”
The officer dutifully directed Hutchinson to the 41st Annual 4th of July Smoke-In, a pro-marijuana concert that takes place every Independence Day. As Hutchinson walked away, he allegedly made his threat.
Searching Hutchinson, authorities found “a small ziplock bag containing a a green leafy substance. The front pocket of Hutchinson’s backpack was also searched, and a knife was found. The Secret Service then treated his bag as a suspicious package. An Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team later “declared the bag clear of explosives.”
“In the bag were found two hand-rolled cigarettes made of green leafy substance which were contained in a metallic cigarette case, and an unlabeled glass jar containing various pills,” the charging documents say.
Hutchinson was cuffed for making terrorist threats and for possession of marijuana. “The day I say I have a bomb in my bag at the White House this happens,” Hutchinson allegedly said after his arrest.