ADAMS -- A West Springfield man is being held after the discovery of "items of concern" in his car led to a State Police Bomb Squad unit being flown in and Park Street being closed down for nearly four hours Sunday.
James V. Bourdon, 59, of Highland Avenue in West Springfield, was arrested early Sunday morning when officers Thomas Cook and Joshua Baker responded to a call from an employee of the Daily Grind, reporting a "suspicious man" parked outside the local eatery, according to Police Chief Donald Poirot.
Bourdon was charged with lewdness, open and gross indecent exposure, and possession of an unsecured loaded weapon. The charges stem from the initial call. A loaded rifle was found in Bourdon's vehicle. He is licensed to carry a firearm and has no previous criminal record.
"It has been determined, at this time, the vehicle did not possess anything that could cause any major catastrophe," Poirot said during a press conference held at the Town Hall Sunday afternoon.
Bourdon was remanded to the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction and is expected to be arraigned in Northern Berkshire District Court on Tuesday. Additional charges could be filed, depending on the outcome of an investigation by the State Police and state Fire Marshal's office.
Police closed Park Street, from Hoosac to Center streets, from 7:50 a.m. to 11:38 a.m. and evacuated residents along the street after several "items of concern" were seen in the vehicle by the officers. Adams Fire Chief Paul J. Goyette was called in to investigate the items and in turn called the state Fire Marshal's office and the State Police Bomb Squad Unit.
Bomb Squad members, who were flown in from Boston by helicopter, removed several items from Bourdon's car, including the loaded rifle, a plastic jug and several other containers. Poirot declined to comment on the items, describing them as "evidentiary."
He declined to say if Bourdon, who was in town visiting his parents, had a history of mental illness, but did say "there are concerns.
"When state Fire Marshal Michael Mazza arrived, we debriefed him on the situation and he used the term ‘textbook' in regards to our response," Poirot said. "It made me feel proud of the way our officers and fire department responded."
Goyette said the departments decided to "err on the side of caution" when making the decision to shut down the street. Several business were forced to close and a service at the First Congregational Church was canceled by the road closure.
"There was enough of a question in my mind," Goyette said.
Initially, several residents of Park Street reported that Bourdon had allegedly told the officers that he had a bomb in his car. Poirot said that claim was "not true" and the investigation was based on what officers Cook and Baker saw in the car.
Daily Grind employees Becky and Marie Duprat said they were preparing the restaurant for the early morning breakfast rush when they became aware of the man sitting in his car outside the eatery at 37 Park St., near Armory Court.
They said they called the police because the man appeared to be masturbating inside of his vehicle.
In addition to the Adams Alerts Hose Co., members of the Adams Ambulance Service also assisted the police.
Meanwhile, the American Legion Post 160's Veterans Day ceremony, planned for 11 a.m. on Sunday in front of the Town Hall, was moved to the Adams Visitor Center.
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