Grenades Found In Waveland Yard - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/17/04

Grenades Found In Waveland Yard

Things are back to normal tonight after a potentially dangerous situation in Waveland. Three hand grenades were discovered in the yard of a home on Hoffman Lane. The discovery created quite a stir on the usually quiet street.

Two real estate agents made the frightening discovery when they arrived at 228 Hoffman Lane.

"They were coming to clean the house out to prepare it to be rented the person had moved out earlier in the week and had left a bunch of stuff in the yard that was covered with a tarp," said Waveland Police Chief Jimmy Varnell.

Underneath the tarp and inside a small box, they noticed three grenades.

Police and fire officials were called and roads were blocked immediately and nearby neighbors were evacuated.

Walton Jones phoned his wife as he left the area.

"I called her on the phone cell phone and told her not to come home that they were evacuating us and her first comment was get the bird and I said I don't have time for the bird I'm leaving," he said.

Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo, told WLOX News, "First, and foremost, is the safety of the community and that was taken care of."

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and firearms were called in and determined the explosives were training grenades. Training grenades are designed to make a loud explosive sound and create smoke when detonated, but not do any harm or cause damage.

"If it looks real, we're going to treat it real and call the appropriate authorities," said Chief Varnell.

Officials do not know why the former tenant had the grenades in the first place.

Chief Varnell told WLOX News, "Unless he was a military buff or in the military .Why did he leave them here? I have no idea. From what the realtors say, this tenant was in the middle of a divorce and has since moved to South America."

Mayor Longo concluded, "The neighbors are back in their homes and everything's safe and we're back to a peaceful quite neighborhood in Waveland, Mississippi."

Authorities also found several unknown bottled chemicals underneath the tarp. The Department of Environmental Quality was called in to haul them off and dispose of them.

Al Showers

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