Police detonate grenade found in Riverside roadway

10/25/2013 7:24 PM |
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Southampton Town and Suffolk County police at the scene of where a reported hand grenade was thrown from a car.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Southampton Town and Suffolk County police at the scene of where a reported hand grenade was thrown from a car.

Police detonated what appeared to be a hand grenade that was reportedly thrown from a moving vehicle onto the side of the road in Riverside Friday afternoon, police at the scene said.

Bomb experts have not yet determined if the grenade was armed, or if it was a “dummy” explosive.

Southampton Town police got a 911 call about 2 p.m. from the Best Price Auto Repair shop on Riverleigh Avenue about what seemed to be a grenade in front of the shop, police said.

A mechanic at the store told police he saw someone throw the grenade from a moving car as it drove past the shop, police said.

Town police closed off Riverleigh Avenue between the Riverside traffic circle and Ludlam Avenue as they investigated the possible explosive. A police officer at the scene said the pin was still intact in the grenade, and could not say whether the explosive was live or a fake.

The Suffolk County Bomb Squad was called to the scene and used a robot to further investigate the grenade. At 6:16 p.m. a dull boom echoed down the street as experts used other explosives to blow up the device.

No one was injured, police said.

Bomb squads use smaller explosives to clear away possible munitions, so the sound of an explosion doesn’t necessarily mean the grenade was live.

As of 7 p.m., the road was still closed, leaving about a dozen residents waiting in the cold and in their cars to return to their homes.

“This is [expletive] crazy,” said Johnaa Lee, who lived just around the corner from where police closed the road. “I just want to go home.”

Another resident, who gave his name as Anthony, said he lived across the street from where the reported grenade was found. As he waited to return home, Anthony patted his heavy gloves together and said he was shocked that someone would throw an explosive on that part of the road.

“This is a local area,” he said. “There is nothing there. Just houses and shops … why would somebody have a grenade or a bomb?”

psquire@timesreview.com