MENTOR-ON-THE-LAKE, Ohio-– A man renovating an old home in Mentor-on-the-Lake found a military-issued hand grenade inside one of the walls Sunday afternoon.
Mentor-on-the-Lake police were called to the home to investigate and officers called in the Lake County Bomb Squad.
“In this case, they already had the hand grenade out of the house; they had moved it themselves so we had our explosives K-9 in the house to make sure there were no other explosives in the house, which there were not,” said Cpt. Andy Lehner, the commander of the Lake County Bomb Unit.
The grenade had been stashed maybe decades ago behind a wall. The new owner found it when he was doing renovations inside the home.
Police said the military weapon is a pineapple grenade and is likely from World War II or the Korean War. Lehner said old grenades can still be very dangerous.
“Sometimes they are tampered with, sometimes they are not stable, and it’s safer to let the professionals handle it,” he said. “If it’s been around for 30, 40, 50 years they could still explode and harm people."
Randy Wilson lives in the neighborhood and said the home’s previous owner was a friendly elderly veteran.
“I’m very surprised and shocked that he had some type of weapon or souvenir from the war like that,” Wilson said.
While no one at the home was injured in this incident, police said it is never a good idea to touch a grenade or any military weapon you may find.
“Just because it looks safe or they’ve seen it on TV, a hand grenade, they think they know what they’re doing, it’s best to just leave it alone,” Lehner said. “They should call the local police and let people who know what they are doing address it and handle it."
The grenade was a huge surprise to everyone who found it, but the bomb unit said they actually get called to quite a few situations like this.
“Unfortunately, a lot of the veterans are passing away and they have brought these home from either WWII, Korea or Vietnam, and people are finding them in suitcases or boxes. So it’s been pretty common lately,” said Ptl. Brian Yenkevich, with the bomb unit.