Discovery of military shell prompts evacuations

Man's Dumpster Find Prompts Evacuations
Man's Dumpster Find Prompts Evacuations

OCEANSIDE, Calif. – The bomb squad evacuated several homes in Oceanside to remove a live military shell, police said. The discovery could have killed the man who found it.

Residents on the 400 block of North Tremont Street in Oceanside were told to leave the area after a sheriff's bomb squad was called to investigate the discovery.

A man told authorities he found what appears to be a 40 mm military shell in a trash bin over the weekend and brought it home to display on his mantel. "It appears to be a 40 mm grenade, and it's fired from, I believe, an M19 launcher. Their belief is it's potentially live," Lt. Leonardy Cosby said.

On Tuesday, he had some military friends over. When they saw what was in the man's possession, they promptly called police. "The guy's walking out to them with this in his hand," Lt. Leonard Cosby said, "and a couple of the guys that were responding were former military, and they tell him 'hey, put that down!'" They promptly walked away from the man.

Carrying around a mysterious explosive definitely doesn't win you any points with police.

"It has a killing radius of six to nine feet. If it were me, I wouldn't have picked it up! My appeal to the public is when you come across something like this, treat it as the real thing. Treat it as serious," Lt. Cosby said. He admits he has absolutely no idea why someone would consider a possible live explosive a souvenir.

Bomb and arson teams evacuated the neighborhood while they disposed of the live ordinance.

As of 12:50 p.m., the ordinance was deemed safe and residents were allowed to return home, Oceanside police said.

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