School Project Halts Trains In Fairfield

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Video report by Mike Krafcik, Fox CT

Text by David Owens, Hartford Courant

FAIRFIELD — Someone saw something, then said something, and Fairfield police closed Unquowa Road near the Fairfield train station, also shutting town Metro-North and Amtrak service for about two hours during the morning rush.

That something turned out to be a shop project left on a road by a seventh-grader from nearby Tomlinson Middle School, Fairfield police Lt. James Perez said.

The item appears to be a clock affixed to a replica of the head of Bender, a character from the animated TV show “Futurama.”

A Fairfield public works employee spotted the item, a wooden box with a clock and face on it, and contacted police at 5:33 a.m., Perez said. Police checked the item and called for the state police bomb squad.

Town employees are trained to be aware of their surroundings and to report anything unusual, Perez said, and that’s just what the employee did.

The result, however, was a headache for commuters. Metro-North and Amtrak suspended service through Fairfield as authorities waited for the item to be checked.

Rail service was suspended from about 6:15 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

“It was a little inconvenient for commuters,” Perez said, “but we’ll never choose convenience over security.”

Investigators were able to link the item to the seventh-grader, who was very upset that he’d caused such a mess.

The boy had been carrying the item home from school on Wednesday, the last day of school in Fairfield, and put it down as he rearranged things he was carrying. He left the item behind and had planned to return to get it, Perez said.

The boy told his family that he’d left the item behind, but they thought he meant he left it at school, not on the bridge that carries Unquowa Road over the railroad.

Police said no charges will be filed.

“This was an accident by a child,” Perez said.

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