by Adam Shear
WACO - Waco Police and the McLennan Co. Sheriff's Office spent almost three hours Saturday afternoon investigating a suspicious device found outside of an apartment complex.
Around 4:45 p.m. officers shut down Austin Ave. between 13th and 14th street when the device was found just feet away from the Austin Arms Apartments near downtown Waco.
The McLennan Co. Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad was called in, but after taking several x-rays of the device it was determined it was just an old television with electrical tape wrapped around it.
After officers confirmed the scene was safe, they spoke with the man who allegedly left the device outside of the building. However, when they asked him why he left a strange TV outside, that was painted all black and had wires hanging outside of it, he gave them a strange story.
"[He told police he was] hearing voices coming from the TV telling him that he needed to get [the television] out of the apartment," said Sgt. Patrick Swanton, Waco Police Department. "Once we found out why [the TV] was out there, our main concern was to make sure that the gentleman got the proper health care he needed."
Instead of arresting the man for a terrorist threat, police instead took him to the Heart of Texas Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center for a mental health exam. If that exam shows he is in good mental health and the police investigation proves he left the device outside to scare people, he still could be arrested and charged.
The man also told officers the voices he heard said there were drugs inside of the television, but when officers looked inside the TV there were no drugs.
Police opened up the road shortly after the television was collected as evidence.