Suspect arrested in Ottawa hotel scare sent back to Nova Scotia

Guests evacuated over threat of hazardous chemicals

Christopher Burton Phillips, 42, is currently on a plane back to Halifax. He was arrested yesterday at Ottawa’s Chimo Hotel on a Canada-wide bond. He has been charged with one count of Uttering Threats and one count of Possession of Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose.

Phillips has been connected to evacuation of more than 20 homes in Cole Harbour and Grand Desert in Nova Scotia. RCMP in Nova Scotia say that a cottage contained “hazardous and volatile chemicals.”

The evacuation of Old Dyke Road in Cole Harbour, N.S. remains in effect tonight.

Phillips is an American ex-biochemical weapons specialist with possible mental health problems. He drove from Halifax to Ottawa, and his wife tipped off the police, CBC reports.

Hotel guests were evacuated at 10:15 p.m. last night as police closed off surrounding streets and asked the public to avoid the area. Tactical and HAZMAT teams were sent to investigate, and no hazardous materials were found, Ottawa police said in a statement.

Phillips’ ex-wife, former U.S. Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller, said in a statement that her prayers go out to the safety of people around Phillips and she is thankful that the police were able to arrest him without incident.

Ottawa’s Chimo Hotel has 256 guest rooms but it’s unclear how many people were staying at the hotel. The guests were transported to another city hotel with the help of the Red Cross.

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