Backpack left behind on RIPTA bus in Smithfield

Backpack left behind on RIPTA bus in Smithfield

SMITHFIELD – A careless RIPTA rider today, who left behind a backpack on a bus, triggered a public safety response that saw local and state police and fire officers rushing to The Crossings shopping mall.

It all started at 8 a.m. Friday when Smithfield police dispatch received a call from RIPTA saying that a backpack had been left behind on a bus.

The RIPTA bus driver pulled into a remote corner of the parking lot near the gazebo of The Crossings at Smithfield on Putnam Pike and instructed all passengers to exit the bus.

According to a police statement, Smithfield Police and fire personnel responded to the area "establishing a perimeter and an incident command post to address the situation."

The Rhode Island State Police and a State Fire Marshal's officer also responded to the scene. Police said members from State Fire Marshal’s Office inspected the backpack and at 9:27 a.m. determined that there was no threat and the bus was safe.

Said police, "There were no known reported threats, specific, general, or otherwise related to this incident. Additionally, none of the stores needed to be evacuated during this incident."

- Marcia Green