Brigham Circle shut after somebody throws a chocolate-milk bottle under a bus

Tremont Street around 10 a.m. Photo by Marc W.Tremont Street around 10 a.m. Photo by Marc W.

Police shut the large intersection around 9:45 a.m. due to a suspicious package under a bus. A T spokesman says:

The Route 66 bus operator says a passenger exited the vehicle, and dropped an object under the bus.

The Globe reports it was a plastic chocolate-milk bottle.

Somebody who was on the bus reports the incident was way sketchier than initially reported:

What happened was the man was digging in the trash. he had something a black object in his hands and started shooving his hands under the wheel of the bus. (why would someone be shoving their hands up and on the wheel of the bus...IDK). He got on his phone right after. When he noticed that people were noticing him he dug in the trash and threw the bottle under the bus.

An explosives-sniffing dog was brought in and a wrecker summoned to carefully move the bus so that bomb-squad members can get a better look at the item.

The wrecker moved the bus around 10:25 and Transit explosives experts carefully moved in to take a look.

Workers and students at the Harvard School of Public Health on Huntington Avenue were told to stay inside.



Free tagging: 


Are you kidding me??

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The terrorists have definitely won if you can't indiscriminately litter without someone calling in the bomb squad, a tow truck being required to lift a bus off of a soda bottle, and the entire area shut down at the end of the morning rush.

What the hell, people? Get a grip.

So I take it despite the army

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So I take it despite the army of cops deployed to the incident that the littering scumbag still got away?

I was actually on this bus.

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I was actually on this bus. Trust me it was way sketchier then it sounds on here. What happened was the man was digging in the trash. he had something a black object in his hands and started shooving his hands under the wheel of the bus. (why would someone be shoving their hands up and on the wheel of the bus...IDK). He got on his phone right after. When he noticed that people were noticing him he dug in the trash and threw the bottle under the bus.



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I see someone who doesn't know the difference between "then" and "than".

Unless you mean, "Better to be safe. But then you're sorry." Which is probably more apt anyway.

Thank you Saul for Your Keen Observations...

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...of something that has nothing to do with this story but serves your own petty sense of PC righteousness.

I see someone who can't WAIT to race in and demonstrate what a shallow dork he is and thus derail any pertinent discussion.

You weren't on the bus, and you still aren't.

Hmm, less than a

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sense of "PC righteousness" methinks but more of grammar policing.
Yes, there will always be a person to correct the reporter who writes "detonating an bomb" while appearing to ignore the fact that a bomb exploded.


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So in other words someone could've just looked under the bus and said "oh, it's a chocolate milk bottle, the guy's a loonybird", but instead we had to call out a small army.

What use is a police force that trembles at the slightest provocation?

BPD vehicles

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Those BPD cars look wimpy and the new paint job is lousy!

The real headline

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Man Throws Litter Under Bus: MBTA Driver Calls in Bomb Squad, Takes Nice Long Coffee Break

Finally, Addressing the Problem of Litterbugs

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The authorities have been turing a blind eye to litterbugs for far too long! It's fortunate that the bus operator noticed and took quick action to evacuate the bus. Hopefully the bottle will be recovered intact and yield fingerprint and DNA evidence so that the culprit can be swiftly apprehended and punished to the full extent of the law.

I see people throwing bottles and other trash underneath subway cars all the time; if they stop the trains and evacuate the stations every time someone does this, it'll go a long way towards ending littering on the MBTA.

Interesting consideration

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This does happen all the why did this particular bus operator think this particular passenger was so...particular...that they felt threatened and concerned they were about to blow up?

Does the driver have far too active an imagination? Did the passenger threaten the driver before exiting the bus, laughing maniacally, then throwing the bottle under the bus while drawing their thumb across their neck menacingly? Was the passenger wearing a turban? Was the driver just looking for a way to stop having to drive the 66 bus for a few hours in relief? Would the driver careen off the highway if the car ahead of them tossed an apple core out the window?

It was probably some

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It was probably some over-excited passenger/vigilante who reported it, and the bus driver was required to call it in.

Words can't express

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Whom to praise?

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Jon Strauss asks:

Do we thank the MBTA passenger who called the police for their Quik thinking?

Disturbing the Peace and Inhibiting Mass Transit

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Channel 7 just reported the bottler was apprehended and will be charged with Disturbing the Peace and Inhibiting Mass Transit. They also said he was dressed in Middle Eastern garb and appeared to be in need of medical attention.

person in question

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I drove right by this stop around 9:00am. There was a man dressed in full white garb sitting on the bench. Appeared to be waiting for the bus, was looking off into space. i wonder if it was the same person.


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Yeh I seen the man when the police were questioning him. It was definitely a man in full white.

And verily

I say to thee, milk which is brown is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord

When Things Like This Happen

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...and the comments follow, why is it that a few are serious and the rest of the remarks are filled with are people flaming each other, making selfish remarks,insulting institutions or people they know nothing about because they were delayed 10 minutes to get a meal 'Their Way' at McDonalds?
It is mean spirited.
Jokes and puns are fine!
We are [still] sitting ducks for a stealth attack. Americans are too complacent and weirdly entitled. We think 'oh it won't happen here' but it can and it probably will. Remember the Marathon Bombs?
Try looking around and thinking about something beside yourself, and stop putting people down who think there might be something wrong or suspicious.

Good points...

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Monday morning quarterbacking does run rampart with a few commenters.

If you were not on the bus, you do not know what happened.

I do know that just a few scant months ago, Boston experienced the explosion of two powerful homemade bombs. I do not find it unreasonable that if some person is trying to shove a bottle under a bus (per first hand account), knowing that bombs can be made from bottles, nevermind that the action is out of the ordinary, that it made folks nervous.

So you get delayed - better delayed than blown up.


He picked a bottle out of the trash and put it under the bus.

Money don't grow on trees, and bombs don't spawn in trash barrels.

His accomplice could have

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His accomplice could have put the "bomb" in the trash barrel just before the bus arrived. This could have been a practice run to see how their plan to blow up a bus would play out.

Terrorists in the ME have

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Terrorists in the ME have been known to hide explosives in soda cans. Many people from Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Iraq, the Pali Territories, etc. have kicked a can left seemingly innocently in the street only to have a leg blown off.

You answered your own question

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We think 'oh it won't happen here' but it can and it probably will.

This statement is true whether we do or do not shut down a major local intersection and investigate a piece of trash tucked into a wheel well.

This is why we ask the questions. Think about something besides yourself and your worries about being attacked. Delays like this don't just cost time, but money as well. Acting scared costs us much more than "keeping calm and carrying on". Yes, for someone somewhere out there, the stakes are high and they will die to a terrorist-related attack. We will be right to mourn them and support their loved ones that remain. But to aggressively over-pursue ghosts that don't exist leaves us far weaker in the long run than whatever appearance of security it provides. That is exactly how terrorism works and what makes it a continuingly attractive method for effecting change by less-organized elements that would want to see harm done to us.

Busy bodies with no Life-

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Why bother explaining 'Kaz'?

These are mostly Monday morning quarter backers with no life! These people are probably the ones that walk around with their smart phones, head down, not paying attention to the world around them, then wonder why someone snatched that phone out of their hand!

I'm just upset they didn't charge him with 'littering' too!

It won't happen.

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Dudley Square is not going to be blown up by a terrorist. If you think it will then you must be completely paranoid. If this had happened before 9/11 people would just think the guy was a loon. But now we have to deal with the over zealous (because it makes them look good) cops shutting everything down every time someone seeing a plastic bottle rolling in the wind. The "see something say something" mentality only leads to wastes of time and money. Now the poor freak who did this is being charged with actual crimes. THAT is ridiculous. He did absolutely nothing more than litter, which is ticketable at most.

Not Dudley

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This is Mission Hill / Brigham Circle home to multiple hospitals. Terrorists across the globe have targetted hospitals in past attacks, so I'm fine with being delayed, or the loss of money that is incurred with this type of response.

Dudley is a major bus hub for

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Dudley is a major bus hub for some of the most crowded lines in the city. If that's not a potential target for whackos looking to do harm then I don't know what is.

No worries!

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We're protected from terrorist attack by the valiant efforts of politicians and bureaucrats to keep everything in crumbling and deteriorating condition:

Al-Qaeda Claims U.S. Mass Transportation Infrastructure Must Drastically Improve Before Any Terrorist Attacks

"The al-Qaeda network is fully prepared to continue the jihad against the American infidels by launching deadly attacks, but your outdated and rusting transportation infrastructure needs to be completely overhauled for those strikes even to be noticed," al-Zawahiri said. "We want to turn your bridges into rubble, but if we claimed credit for making them collapse, nobody would ever believe us."

You complain about people

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You complain about people flaming one another and making selfish remarks and insults and yet you say jokes and puns are fine. Perhaps what you really mean is: jokes and puns [that I think are funny] are fine [and I will judge those who don't conform to my standards.]

Casting blanket aspersions about Americans being complacent and entitled at least as mean spirited than someone being sarcastic about the misperceived dangers of a chocolate milk bottle.

What is worse is an institutionalized and pervasive sense of paranoia and fear evoked by phrases like "stealth attack" or "remember the marathon bomber" as if we don't live every waking moment of our life considering the ninja's and jihadists lurking around every corner. Oh, wait, that's right. We don't live that way and we shouldn't. Yes, we remember the marathon bombings, and 9/11, and the Maine and we, as ordinary complacent entitled citizens combat those real villains and imaginary boogie men by living our lives in spite of them.

As usual the usual UHUB

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As usual the usual UHUB know-it-alls who were probably nowhere near the scene somehow feel compelled to make their snarky comments.
Gee, 18 comments in and no one has used the phrase "security theater." I was just watching the report on Channel 5 news and no this wasn't some "indiscriminate littering."
The person was acting like he was intentionally placing the device under the bus.
And to answer the question some of you have been asking, the police to have a person in custody. He is identified by name on the WCVB site.


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he was ACTING???? Well, we certainly can't allow that.


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Preventing Bad Actors is what Security Theatre is all about?

Should this be a thing?

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I can see it now. People will go around town with chocolate milk bottles and instagraming/tweeting themselves tucking them into conspicuous places. We'll call it #milkbombing.

Your earlier point about

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Your earlier point about delays is well taken, however, in the heat of the moment, unless you can clearly see and determine that the object is innocuous, how is anyone supposed to know that?

Forget about "terrorism" for a moment - how is anyone supposed to know that this person is not "merely" trying to sabotage the bus (e.g., perhaps after arguing with the driver - it's not like there isn't a hell of a lot of that going on around here) and cause an accident?

If I'm on that bus, or on the sidewalk, and I watch someone put something into the wheel well of the bus, you bet your ass that I am going to say something to the driver or otherwise report it unless I am damn sure it innocuous. I would hope that others would do the same.

We can argue about how my report should be responded to (i.e., does the bomb squad show up, or just a T supervisor to check it out), but a response of some kind is definitely warranted.

The absurdity of security theater

Makes me wonder if I really want to come back to the US so soon. Maybe I'll just apply for a job at the WHO ... I'm surprised that the US has yet to declare war on shadows.

Swirly, I'm still waiting for your report...

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on why the street cars (or, as they are called in Zurich, trams) seem to work so much better than the Green LIne, notwithstanding that they are like the E line west of Brigham Circle.

Also, if you haven't taken the tram to the Zurich streetcar museum, and you still can, do it.

Safe travels.

Only here for one night

... and the place is rocking!

Flying out of Zurich tomorrow, but before that I spent most of the week in Basel, and the secret is no secret there - trams own the damn roads! Well, trams AND bikes. Cars are guests and have to submit.

How is it that Basel has one of the highest percentages of car-free households in Europe?

First of all, extensive tram networks interlaced at key intersections. Also, extensive connections with the frequent articulated buses that run the hill routes.

Secondly, trams trams trams all the time - headway at rushour for any given line is 2-3 minutes.

Third, you get tram with your hotel! And tram with your job, tram with your university, tramly tram, trammable tram!

Fourth, NO PARKING in the central city. Yep NO PARKING. Meanwhile, the city seems to support serious retail in most transit plazas - like 3 H&Ms thriving. No empty storefronts, either!

Bikes everywhere, too - as in Munich and Dresden and Berlin, many are outfitted as the family transit option. Even small kids ride geared bikes with their parents (although Swiss kids seem to end up on tandems due to the hills and rails and trams).

I thought to myself "Matthew on UHub's Heaven!".

I'm flattered

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You're tens of thousands of miles from home, in what sounds to be a fun and exotic country, and thinking of me, someone you've never met. :)

Uhm, they DID declare war on shadows

Even as recently as what, 10 months ago? At the Copley Place meetings, residents were complaining that a building to the north of them would cast shadows on them. Beyond the absurdity of such thought, why the hate for shadows? It's a damn war, I tell ya'.

Two reasons for this

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First, NIMBYs can't come up with any legitimate reasons to block projects. So they resort to using arguments like "harmful shadow effect" that are based totally on junk science.

Second, our bass-akwards system on environmental review supports such idiotic arguments by accepting them on face value and requiring the project proponent to refute the claims, instead of requiring the NIMBYs to prove them.

Imagine if you were empaneled on a jury and the judge told you the defendant is presumed by the court to be guilty of all charges, and it's the defendant's responsibility to prove their innocence beyond a reasonable doubt. Sadly, that's exactly what any project proponent faces every day - guilty until proven innocent.

...and he asked me,

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"What were you arrested for, kid?" and I said, "Litterin'" and they all moved away from me on the bench there, until I said "and creatin' a nuisance" and they all moved back....

What I wouldn't give...

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I feel like someone should drive Arlo in from the Berkshires to give an impromptu concert on that corner.

I bet he'd get a kick out of it if Mr. Ibrahim waived his Miranda Rights just to say, "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant".

Sorry gang

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Arlo hasn't performed "Alice's Restaurant" in public for several years now.

As was I

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when I attended a free concert by Arlo on the Fenway in 1979. And his "live" version of Alice's (at least that night) was considerably longer than the recorded version. Which made the line "Remember Alice? This is a song about Alice." all the funnier.

ch 159 section 31?

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They charged him with interfering with public transportation which talks about explosives or destructive devices. I wasn't there but it sounds like they rounded up the usual suspect who placed a carton of milk then again it might have been spoiled milk.

Incindiary device

Does this mean I can call the police and bomb squad the next time some masshole flings a lit ciggy?

Not like flung ciggies haven't caused a lot of damage around these parts.