The Allen County Regional Bomb Squad safely removed a hand grenade from an alley in Wapakoneta Tuesday evening and detonated the explosive device at the Wapakoneta Police Department shooting range near the city composting facility on Wapak-Cridersville Road.
Carol Bogart, 408 Court St., was cleaning yard debris from under an evergreen tree along an east-west alley between Logan and Court streets in the 300 block of West Benton Street when she discovered what appeared to be a hand grenade under the tree.
She immediately contacted the Wapakoneta Police Department at 7:13 p.m. Tuesday, Police Chief Russ Hunlock said. Officers responded and cordoned off the area — closing the east-west alley and a north-south alley. They warned residents in the vicinity to not use the back alley and to stay in their homes for safety.
Lt. Barry Truesdale contacted the Allen County Regional Bomb Squad, which arrived at approximately 8:30 p.m. Bomb squad members confirmed the device was a hand grenade. Bomb squad members placed the hand grenade into a box and transported the explosive device to the shooting range in the bomb squad truck.
“The Allen County Bomb Squad took possession of the explosive device, and we are currently taking it out to the shooting range to detonate the hand grenade,” Hunlock told the Wapakoneta Daily News shortly after the area was cleared Tuesday evening. “The only person who was in danger during this was the woman who initially found the hand grenade.
“We don’t know how long it has been there, it was partially buried so it could have been there quite a while,” the police chief said. “Officers, lieutenant responded and made sure everyone stayed a safe distance away and kept the neighbors informed.”
The hand grenade was destroyed at approximately 9:30 p.m.
Several residents in the vicinity of the shooting range reported hearing a large explosion and their homes shaking from the blast.