No bomb was found, but a backpack was blown up by a bomb squad in an abundance of caution, the Washington State Patrol reported.
Several agencies converged on the state Department of Transportation ferry terminal on the Mukilteo waterfront. The State Patrol, FBI, Mukilteo police and fire departments and Coast Guard boats and a helicopter responded to the scene.
The State Patrol's bomb squad, including dogs trained to sniff out explosives, searched the ferry Cathlamet, trooper Keith Leary said.
Of greatest concern was a backpack belonging to the man who was arrested.
The man boarded in Clinton. He said something that caused police to believe it was possible there was a bomb inside, Leary said.
"They used a charge to basically blow up the backpack," Leary said.
It appeared to have contained drug paraphernalia, clothes, metal water bottles, a paperback and a video game.
The Everett man, 32, was arrested for investigation of making a bomb threat, Leary said. He was booked into the Snohomish County Jail on Thursday afternoon.
Mukilteo police officer J.C. Becker arrested the man after state ferry workers pointed him out, Police Chief Rex Caldwell said.
Becker and officer Adam Sanchez were the first to contact the suspect coming off the ferry, Caldwell said. Becker, who has crisis intervention training, interviewed the man at length, according to the chief.
Officer Joe Hamilton inspected the backpack and then took it from the man.
Hamilton placed it on the ground and helped direct people away from the area during the evacuation.
Ferry traffic resumed around 11 a.m., transportation officials said.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org
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