Suspicious vehicle prompts evacuation at Pierce College in Puyallup

A suspicious vehicle prompted the evacuation and closure of Pierce College in Puyallup on Friday.

Police found and detained a person of interest hours after campus safety officers discovered the unoccupied vehicle parked on a walkway outside the library, police Sgt. Dan Pashon said.

Police didn’t release the identity of the person in custody or details about a non-hazardous substance found in the vehicle. Pashon said the person was not a Pierce College student and it had yet to be determined whether the person will face charges.

“At this point we just want to talk to them,” Pashon said.

Central Pierce Fire & Rescue crews responded with a hazardous materials unit after officials found the suspicious substance inside the vehicle about 10 a.m. Pashon said Sumner police helped in the response.

The campus was closed and evacuated after the incident.

“Right now, we’re just being precautionary,” Pashon said Friday afternoon.

School officials requested more frequent patrols by Lakewood police at the Fort Steilacoom campus after the Puyallup incident, according to an email to students from Brian Benedetti, director of marketing and communications at the college.

“We have no indication of a problem (there), this is just a precaution, please don't be alarmed,” he wrote. “We will continue to update you as we get more information.”

Staff writer Dominic Wilkerson contributed to this report.