Man near nuclear plant was not a threat: police

Reuters News
Posted: May 20, 2011 5:13 PM
Man near nuclear plant was not a threat: police

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A man acting erratically near a Virginia nuclear power plant was detained by police on Friday and was found to be carrying a black box of harmless wet sand chained to his neck, authorities said.

His actions sparked concern when he was spotted adrift in the James River for at least five hours on a 9-foot inflatable watercraft with a small black box chained to his neck, according to Virginia Marine Police spokesman John Bull.

"He was disoriented, incoherent in most cases. At times he would be lucid and be helpful. That didn't last very long," Bull said.

"There are no terrorism ties to this. There is no threat to the nuclear power plant in Surry," Bull said in a telephone interview.

The boat was towed to shore and the man taken into custody without incident.

The man was undergoing a mental evaluation, Bull said.

(Reporting by Wendell Marsh; Editing by Jerry Norton and Greg McCune)