Strange and unusual stories out of Florida tend to hit the media with such frequency that many people are inclined to think the state’s citizens have gone mad. The truth is, wacky stories about unusual crimes and police interactions probably happen with the same frequency in plenty of other states. But, in accordance with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine Law, the government’s business is the people’s business, so all records are open to the public and as a result, the national media.
According to a release from the Ocala Police Department in Florida’s Marion County, a local couple in their mid-30s were doing a bit of “magnet fishing” looking for salvage items to scrap when they made a startling discovery: a World War II-era grenade.
The couple quickly realized it could be rather dangerous, so they slipped the grenade in a five-gallon bucket full of other scrap, stuck it in the trunk of their car and set out for…a nearby Taco Bell.
There, they notified police about their discovery.
The police, understandably concerned about a bucket full of shrapnel with a grenade in the middle, promptly evacuated the Taco Bell and brought in the bomb squad.
With the parking area secure and the bomb squad cleared to approach the vehicle, one officer “determined that the firing pin mechanism on the grenade did not appear to be functional,” allowing them to remove the grenade and transport it in a bomb disposal trailer to be destroyed elsewhere.
Based on the image released by Ocala Police, the rusted relic appears to be an Mk 2 “Pineapple” grenade like those employed by the U.S. military until the 1960s. These weapons were filled with any number of possible explosives, with the earliest using 1.85 oz of good old-fashioned TNT.
There were no injuries or arrests made, though it seems likely Ocala police officers–and other law enforcement personnel, for that matter–would prefer any munitions discovered in the future to remain where they are and called in, as opposed to making a grenade into an even bigger pipe bomb by sticking it into a bucket full of jagged metal.