Man Claiming to Have Explosives in Car, Prompts Bomb Squad Response, Street Closures in Hollywood

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A man who arrested after driving erratically in Hollywood told police he had explosives in his vehicle, prompting a bomb squad response and the temporary closure of streets near Hollywood & Highland Thursday.

The individual, identified as 31-year-old Pharoah Gillis, was seen at about 11 a.m. driving erratically near the shopping complex — close to the site of Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony.

Video sent to KTLA by a witness showed a vehicle that appeared to be a black Volkswagen Jetta driving in circles in the middle of the roadway.

The man parked his car near Hollywood Boulevard and Yucca Street and was then spotted walking with a propane tank in his hand, according to LAPD Officer Nuria Vanegas.

A bomb squad robot works at the scene of an investigation in Hollywood on Feb. 19, 2015. (Credit: Geoff Pilkington)

A bomb squad robot works at the scene of an investigation in Hollywood on Feb. 19, 2015. (Credit: Geoff Pilkington)

He was arrested by officers and, while in custody, said he had explosives in his vehicle, Vanegas said. A bomb squad was called to the scene, she said.

A photo taken at the scene showed a bomb squad robot at work behind the open trunk of the parked vehicle.

The squad's water canon was used to unlock the car's trunk, and the vehicle was searched to determine there were no explosive inside, LAPD Sgt. Barry Montgomery said on scene.

Hollywood Boulevard, Franklin Avenue and Highland Avenue were closed, Vanegas said.

The scene was declared clear and streets were reopening, LAPD said on Twitter about 4:15 p.m.

The man's car was towed away.

Gillis was booked on suspicion of false report of a bomb, according to the LAPD.

KTLA's Crystal Garcia and Kennedy Ryan contributed to this article.

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