A photo of the evacuated Cheesecake Factory. Photo by Pasadena Now News redistributed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff
A photo of the evacuated Cheesecake Factory. Photo by Pasadena Now News redistributed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff

Authorities Saturday hunted the black-clad, bearded bomb thrower who tossed a homemade explosive device into the Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Pasadena.

Despite terrorizing dinner-hour diners who were evacuated from the restaurant, police downplayed the seriousness of the incident, calling it a more of a “prank” than a life-threatening attack.

No one was hurt in the blast, which was reported at 6:08 p.m. Thursday at the restaurant at 2 W. Colorado Blvd.

Responding officers immediately evacuated the restaurant and located the detonated homemade pyrotechnic device, according to the Pasadena Police Department. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad also responded and rendered the device safe, police said.

“Pasadena Police detectives are currently handling the investigation and out of an abundance of caution the federal authorities have been notified,” a Pasadena police statement said. The motive is not known, police said.

Pasadena police Lt. Vasken Gourdikian told NBC4 that nothing in the investigation has suggested the incident was “anything other than a really bad prank.”

Another police spokesman said the device was a “glorified firecracker” that didn’t appear to be made to injure anyone.

Witnesses described the suspect as either Hispanic or Middle Eastern, 6 feet tall, with a thin build, a heavy beard, all black clothing and a black beanie.

Anyone with information about the explosion or the suspect was urged to call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241 or report information anonymously at lacrimestoppers.com by inserting the keyword “Pasadena.”

— City News Service

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