SARASOTA – Police said a man triggered a hazardous materials investigation on Tuesday when he attempted to spread his fiance’s ashes at the Westfield Southgate Shopping Center. Police Lt. Pat Ledwith said the man was still mourning the loss of his fiance who died several months ago. She reportedly had some connection to LensCrafters which is where the grieving man spread part of her ashes at 11:20 a.m., triggering the emergency response.
The mall was shut down for several hours and officials did not allow people in or out of the shopping center during the investigation.
“He did not realize the commotion he would cause,” Ledwith said. He added that the man was “very apologetic” and had “no malicious intent.”
Police have offered him grief counseling and do not plan to charge him.