Castor bean scare closes Ohio apartment complex

Police and hazardous materials teams closed several apartment complexes in Grove City, Ohio, on July 20, after receiving a report that castor beans, the key component in the potential bioweapon ricin, may have been kept there.

The police say they instead found a drug lab with jars of beans inside in the basement of the apartment complex, reports. Tests came back negative for the presence of castor beans. Police are still investigating and have yet to release further details of the drug lab’s contents.

"We don't know what it is, so we can't say if it is poisonous or not at this point," Grove City Police Captain Steve Robinette told "We want to err on the side of caution and make sure we handle this properly.  We'd rather take a step back, do this properly, and have it to be nothing than to have it go the other way, that it was something dangerous and we didn't handle it properly."

The Tuesday investigation came on the heels of a Monday afternoon four-hour SWAT standoff at the same apartments, which led to two suspects being taken into custody. The men are both facing felonious assault and robbery charges in relation to a Columbus, Ohio, shooting that also took place on Monday, but in a restaurant parking lot. Police have yet to say whether the two incidents are related.