June 4, 2009

Grenade detonation riles neighbors

Neighbors of Arizona's San Tan Mountain Regional Park complained that they were not warned before authorities used the park to detonate a grenade.

Alden Rosbrook said the explosion late in the evening May 22 knocked pictures off the wall of his home while he was watching TV with his wife, the East Valley Tribune of Mesa, Ariz., reported Thursday.

I thought a bomb had been thrown through our Arcadia door, Rosbrook said. That was my first thought.

Rosbrook said he soon discovered that the explosion was the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office disposing of a grenade.

Detective Aaron Douglas, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said the bomb squad had to act quickly when the grenade was discovered without its safety pin, so it was brought to the park instead of the sheriff's shooting range, where such detonations would usually be performed. He said the detonation followed all safety regulations and a fire truck was in attendance at the time of the explosion. Douglas said there was not time to warn neighbors before the detonation.

However, Rosbrook and other neighbors said there are only six or seven homes in the area and it would not have taken a lot of time to warn the residents of the impending explosion.

Boy, it scared the daylights out of a lot of people, Rosbrook said. If they had given us a little heads up, we wouldn't have been so unknowing about what the heck was going on.