HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — A fake explosive that led to the evacuation of a Mays Landing housing complex Monday was created by a resident, police said.

John Carretta, 55, was taken into custody after an investigation by the Atlantic City Bomb Squad revealed he was responsible for the device, which was made to look like an improvised explosive device, police said.

Carretta was among the residents of Rhododendron Court who stood outside after police were called to the scene for a suspicious device at about 10:15 a.m.

Before he was targeted as a suspect, Carretta stood with other evacuees Monday and told a reporter that police knocked on his door saying he had to leave.

The device was near a mailbox, he said.

Police tape blocked the area for a few hours as a robot was first used to inspect the device.

When it was finally deemed safe, Hamilton Township police removed it from the scene.

Carretta was taken into custody and charged with false public alarm, which is a second-degree crime, and maintaining a public nuisance, a disorderly persons offense.

Atlantic County Hazmat and members of the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office also responded, along with Hamilton Township's Rescue Squad and the Cologne and Laureldale Fire Departments.

Contact Lynda Cohen:


Follow Lynda Cohen on Twitter @LyndaCohen

Stay informed! Sign up to receive top headlines delivered to your inbox each morning.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.