ABC News reports that Nassau County police found and removed a grenade from a street in South Farmingdale, NY yesterday afternoon. The grenade, which still had the safety pin in place, was spotted by a pedestrian around approximately 12:15 pm Friday on Hessier Lane near the curb and a Long Island Rail Road overpass. The pedestrian, who has remained unidentified, made the call to local police. The area, home to a few businesses and condo buildings, was evacuated while detectives and the arson bomb squad identified and removed the grenade, which a police spokesman says will be eventually detonated in a remote and controlled area. According to Ralph Ekstrand, Mayor as well as Supervising Pharmacist and Principal of Moby Drugs in the incorporated village of Farmingdale, the area was reopened shortly before 4 pm.
A spokesman for the Long Island Rail Road, Salvatore Arena, told Long Island Newsday that passenger service was not affected by the grenade’s proximity to railroad tracks that connect the Babylon branch to the Main Line, but that a New York and Atlantic Railway freight train was stopped on the tracks for approximately 20 minutes shortly before the area where the grenade was found due to Nassau Police asking the Metropolitan Transit Authority to shut off power to the tracks so that they could investigate.
According to the superintendent of the New York and Atlantic Railway, Jay David Wallace, the stopped freight train was travelling from Lindenhurst to Queens and was only carrying construction and demolition debris.
The South Farmingdale grenade was not the only grenade to make the news this week, just the least deadly, as BBC News reports that 11 people were killed and 14 injured in Bangui, capitol of the Central African Republic, due to a grenade attack Thursday afternoon. The country has been thrust into civil conflict since March of last year when the largely Muslim rebel Seleka group deposed President Francois Bozize and replaced him with Seleka leader Michel Djotodia, who was forced step down this past January. Local residents blame Thursday’s grenade attack on former fighters from the Seleka militia.
Closer to South Farmingdale, the Westchester County Bomb Squad was called to the home of a recently passed World War II vet in Tarrytown, NY on March 17th when family members found a grenade the basement of his home. The grenade, believed to be live, was removed without incident or evacuation.
On March 7th, FBI were called to Woodmere, NY with a bomb disposal unit when two Vietnam era hand grenades were found in a home by local police responding to an alarm. Also found was a semi-automatic machine gun and dozens of marijuana plants. The son of the homeowners, who were in Florida at the time, was staying at the house. The 53 year old man had been standing in the driveway when police arrived and when asked for identification had attempted to provide his credit card.
A live grenade was found among a box of donated items at a Goodwill store in Winston-Salem, NJ in late January.
The “Long Island Grenade” is also the name of a mixed drink, which brings together Smirnoff vodka, Bacardi white rum, and Jose Cuervo gold tequila.