Maintenance Worker Finds a Hand Grenade in Rock Creek Park

There are many types of hand grenades, including the familiar “pineapple.” This particular one is the M-61 hand grenade, a fragmentation grenade that is lethal to at least 16 feet and dangerous to at least 50 feet. Photo by Wikifreund via Wikipedia.

Just before 8:00 a.m. yesterday morning ( October 1st), a Rock Creek Park maintenance worker was in a playing field north of Morrow Drive when he came upon a plastic bag near a trash can. Inside the bag, which was marked "inert,” was a suspicious looking device. Could that be a hand grenade?! He notified Park Police, and the responding officer determined that it certainly could be a hand grenade.

Complicating the situation was the fact that the device was found across the street from an Egyptian Embassy office. Several homes were in the vicinity as well.

Being well trained to handle such situations, Park Police and other law enforcement officials swung into action. In short order a perimeter was established, the embassy office and several nearby homes were evacuated, and the D.C. Metropolitan Police explosive ordnance unit moved in to examine the device.

The device turned out to be a real hand grenade, alright, but it contained no explosive charge. In other words, it was inert. Officials did not specify which type of grenade was found.

An investigation is currently underway. Despite the device’s proximity to the embassy, the FBI hasn’t inferred a terrorist connection.

A 90-second videoclip with additional details can be seen at this site. The Park Police spokesman being interviewed is Sergeant Robert Lachance, Public Information Officer.

Encountering various and sundry weapons is not a rare occurrence in National Capital Parks. When last I interviewed Officer Lachance it was to get information surrounding the arrest of two men who had brought a loaded Uzi to a playground in the Anacostia Park unit of National Capital Parks-East..