Grenade brought to police station causes scare

Bomb squad determines that device found by Port woman while cleaning garage was only for training
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

It’s not every day that police find themselves faced with a grenade, but that’s exactly what happened to Officer Chris Erickson Monday.

Erickson was at the Port Washington Police Station about 4 p.m. when a woman came in with a grenade in a white plastic bag.

She and her husband found the device while cleaning out their garage as they prepared to move, the woman explained. They hoped the police would dispose of it.

The records clerk fetched Erickson, who ushered the woman outside. They placed the grenade, still in the bag, a safe distance from the building.

Officers called Police Chief Kevin Hingiss, cordoned off the area — restricting cars and pedestrians on Wisconsin Street — and called the fire department and sheriff’s department, which then notified the Milwaukee Police Department Bomb Squad.

The bomb squad arrived about 5:35 p.m. and inspected the grenade, which they determined was a training grenade that had no explosives inside, Hingiss said.

The bottom of the device had been drilled out and the explosives removed, he said.

The bomb squad took the grenade with them when they left about 5:45 p.m., when the street was reopened to traffic.

“I’m sure they deal with this quite often,” Hingiss said of the bomb squad.

Hingiss said the husband is a former law enforcement officer and said the grenade “had something to do with his law enforcement career.”

The couple knew it was a grenade, but weren’t sure if it was a live grenade or a training device.

“Officer Erickson made the right move by not removing it from the bag and handling it,” Hingiss said.

This isn’t the first time the department has had to respond to a call of a grenade that might be live.

Last May, a man found a grenade in his grandfather’s garage when he was cleaning it out. He called police to the house, and the department called in the bomb squad, which determined it was a practice or dummy grenade.

If someone finds a grenade, live or not, they should call the police department, not bring it to the station, Hingiss said.

“He would prefer that in the future,” he said. “We definitely do not like them brought into the police department.”

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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