Man Sprinkles Fiancee's Ashes at LensCrafters, Triggers Mall Evacuation

His fiancee had a conneciton to LensCrafters, officials said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Sarasota Police
    The Lenscrafters in the Westfield Southgate Mall in Sarasota was closed Tuesday for a possible hazmat situation after a person threw an unknown substance, later determined to be ashes, into the store, officials said.

    No charges will be filed against a grieving man who sprinkled some of his dead fiancee's ashes in an eyewear store, causing a Florida mall to be evacuated and shut down for two hours.

    Sarasota Police said a man on Tuesday sprinkled some of the ashes in places that were special to the couple. Officials said the woman had a connection to LensCrafters in the Westfield Southgate Mall and because of that, the man released some of the ashes there on Tuesday.

    The incident occurred just before noon on Tuesday, when the man threw what was then an unknown substance into the store before fleeing the area, according to police.

    To store workers and passersby, it was unclear what the white powdery substance was. Police and hazmat crews responded, and the mall was shut down.

    The mall was closed and shoppers inside it were asked to shelter in place until hazmat personnel could sample the substance and determine whether it was hazardous.

    Police said the mall and the Sarasota Fire Department could seek to recover civil costs from the man, who wasn't identified.

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