Flea-market-bought grenade leads to evacuation of police district

Posted: May 15, 2012

A SENIOR citizen’s bizarre flea-market find led to the evacuation of the building that houses the 2nd and 15th police districts in Northeast Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon when the man showed up with a live grenade.

The man, who cops said was in his 60s, arrived about 4:40 p.m. at the headquarters, at Harbison Avenue and Levick Street, with a plastic-wrapped grenade, according to police. He placed the grenade on the counter and told officers that he’d purchased a radio at a flea market earlier in the day, heard a rattling noise in it, opened it and found the grenade inside, police said.

The grenade was live, said Sgt. Leo Costello, of the 2nd District, and the building was quickly evacuated as the bomb squad was called. Police weren’t sure of the location of the flea market that sold the radio and said that the man did not stay at the district long enough to be interviewed.

“Once they discovered it was a grenade, safety became paramount and we wanted everyone out of the building,” Costello said.

The scene was cleared by 5 p.m. and everyone was allowed back inside. There were no reported injuries. n

Contact Morgan Zalot at 215-854-5928 or zalotm@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @morganzalot. Read her blog PhillyConfidential.com.

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