Shortly after 11 a.m. this morning, November 23, San Diego police officers responded to a call from a concerned employee at the Diamond Head Inn who reported that an unknown man had left a briefcase near the front desk and exited the Pacific Beach hotel.
The man in question reportedly walked into the front-desk area and left the briefcase next to the coffee service before walking out and heading east on Diamond Street.
Within minutes the Fire Rescue and Bomb Squad teams arrived and evacuated the hotel. Authorities quickly taped off the area from Mission Boulevard to Ocean Boulevard on Diamond Street to further investigate.
Tom Mona, a neighbor living near the hotel, was approached by the suspect who started asking questions of Tom and a friend. The longtime local resident said, "After the first two cop cars went down the street, this guy walked up and asked 'What's going on? Why are all these cops down the street?' Then another police car came around the corner and stopped by us. As the officer walked toward us, this guy turned and ran down the street."
Police officers followed, apprehended the suspect, and returned to the area.
After studying the situation, authorities decided to see what was in the briefcase. "Fire in the hole! Fire in the hole!" were the words shouted at 1:31 p.m. by a member of the San Diego Bomb Squad as they detonated a charge to pop open the suspicious briefcase.
After the blast sounded, the case was found to have nothing dangerous inside. After more than three hours, authorities packed up and left the beach community with the suspect in custody.