A portion of Times Square was evacuated Thursday afternoon after something was thrown toward people sitting on the "red steps" in Father Duffy Square, but police gave the all-clear around 1 p.m.
Law enforcement sources say a man riding a bicycle threw a red cookie tin toward people sitting on the steps around noon, prompting them to flee.
Police checked out the container as a precaution given the situation near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, sources said — adding that a private security dog sniffed the container and sat down, an unusual reaction that prompted an extra response.
Thousands of people along roughly three blocks of Times Square were evacuated, from 45th to 48th Streets along Seventh Avenue, leaving the crossroads of the world eerily quiet, at least temporarily.
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The NYPD's bomb squad was brought in, and they determined there was nothing but bread or cookie crumbs inside the tin. The area was soon reopened to crowds.