Eastpointe man held in bomb scare at MotorCity Casino

A 69-year-old Eastpointe man was arrested under warrant and could be charged Tuesday after police say he left seven suspicious objects in the MotorCity Casino garage Sunday.

„They were fashioned to appear to be pipe bombs, but they were no threat,“ Detroit police spokesman James Tate said Monday, adding that the man did not work at the casino. „They used surveillance video, and he was a patron. It’s still unclear on a motive as to why.“

Arnold Nowicki was arrested at his Brittany Avenue home off 9 Mile early Monday. Detroit Police’s Violent Crimes Task Force, the Michigan State Police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives swarmed the home.

At about 1:30 a.m., the partially clothed man was ordered outside, placed under arrest and hauled away in a squad car. Authorities stormed the gray ranch with tattered shutters to search for evidence from the bomb scare.

No one answered the door Monday afternoon. An SUV belonging to the suspect was towed and investigators ordered it checked for fingerprints, neighbor Patrice Cooper, a Detroit police officer, said Monday.

Cooper said Nowicki, who is believed to live alone but often has a female companion over, is a retired autoworker who spends time at a cabin.

„He’s a pretty decent, nice neighbor,“ she said.

A MotorCity Casino security guard discovered the first suspicious object about 5:20 p.m. Sunday. The discovery of several more of the objects, made to look like bombs, triggered a lockdown of the parking structure for more than five hours and left hundreds of patrons stuck in the casino. Two of the objects were detonated by a bomb squad and determined to be fake, said Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens Bell.

Michigan State Police are handling the case and the state Attorney General’s Office is expected to issue charges, said Lt. Monica Yesh.