A man was arrested Thursday, accused of trying to take two cars while wearing a fake explosive device strapped to his chest, Dallas police say.
Dallas police said officers were called to an "armed encounter" at an office building along the 4100 block of North Central Expressway Service Road at about 5:32 p.m. Thursday.
When officers arrived, a security guard had a man, later identified by Dallas police as 29-year-old Marquis Allen, subdued and on the ground in the building's lobby. The officers placed the man in handcuffs and while searching his body felt a bulge around his stomach.
The officer lifted up the man's shirt to reveal four red cylinders taped together along with multi-colored wires installed into the cylinders making them appear as though they were explosives.
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The officers ordered the building be evacuated and created distance between themselves and Allen while waiting for the Explosive Ordinance Division (EOD) and SWAT to arrive.
Meanwhile, officers talked with Allen who told them he'd built the bomb with an Army buddy and that he didn't know the blast radius. Police said he threatened to detonate the device every time police asked if it was a bomb.
While Dallas police waited for EOD and SWAT to arrive, the intersection between North Central Expressway Service Road and Fitzhugh Avenue was closed to traffic.
Dallas police said EOD and SWAT arrived and determined the device was not real. Allen was taken into custody and transported to an area hospital for a medical evaluation.
After the man was taken into custody, Azad Nasrollani told police he and a woman were leaving the building when they were approached by a man asking for help and saying he needed their vehicle. Nasrollani said the man told them he had a bomb and lifted up his shirt to show the device. The man then tried to get into Nasrollani's car by lifting the handle and by hitting the glass with a brick.
Nasrollani told police another man, identified by police as Timothy Williams, saw the man "harassing" them and intervened, allowing them to get back inside the building.
Williams told police that as he walked back to the building, the man tackled him and began hitting him on the arm with a rock. Williams said the man took his keys and tried to leave in his car, but was able to put the vehicle into reverse due to a mechanical problem.
Williams said he tried to go back into the building but was followed to the door by the man. Another witness, identified by police as Kacey Cordell, reportedly saw some of what took place between Allen and Williams and pulled out a knife to keep Allen from entering the building. Williams took that opportunity to go to his car and get a Glock pellet gun to "try and help stop Allen from harassing more people."
At some point after that Allen was subdued by the security guard and eventually taken into the custody of Dallas police.
Allen was booked into the Dallas County Jail Friday and is being held on $110,000 in bonds for three charges, two for aggravated robbery and one for having a hoax bomb. The result of Allen's medical evaluation is not known and it's not clear if he's obtained an attorney.