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Arrest made in Bridgeport apartment explosion

Eddy Martinez
Connecticut Public
The explosion at 1512 North Ave. in Bridgeport forced several families to temporarily shelter and Mayor Joe Ganim said no one was hurt.

An arrest has been made in an explosion at an apartment building on North Avenue in Bridgeport early Thursday morning.

The explosion forced several families to temporarily shelter at the nearby Geraldine W. Johnson School. Mayor Joe Ganim said no one was hurt, but police and the FBI are investigating.

A city statement said Bridgeport resident Nelson Diaz has been charged with disorderly conduct. Police say he was reported to have roamed the hallways of the building a few hours before the incident, then came back in the early morning. Investigators say he was later seen walking out of the front door and quickly walked to his car seconds after the explosion and drove off. He was soon arrested by police close by.

Both the FBI and a city spokesperson characterized it as an isolated incident.

Police have ruled out any ties to terrorism, said Tiadora Josef, the city’s director of public information. Diaz is a convicted felon and his bond is set at $25,000, Josef said.

Ganim said dozens of people were affected by the blast.

“Not only was that building and those 20 families evacuated and house so to speak overnight in the school across the street, but also a perimeter impacting 150 or so additional residents had to be evacuated for safety concerns,” Ganim said.

The FBI did not respond to a request for comment as of early Thursday afternoon. The city’s communications office confirmed a suspect has been detained but did not confirm if the suspect was still in police custody.

One resident, Jamel Brown, who was in the area at the time of the incident, said he didn’t hear the explosion as it happened but came across it on social media and heard sirens in the distance.

“I heard them last night cause I was up, I was playing a game,” he said.

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