Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Injured boy's father helped him fill grenade with firecracker powder, deputies say

Edward Weise is shown being taken to Tampa General Hospital after injuring himself with a grenade.

Richard Wintz | Special to the Times

Edward Weise is shown being taken to Tampa General Hospital after injuring himself with a grenade.

TAMPA — The grenade wouldn't detonate on the Fourth of July. But deputies say it wasn't for lack of trying.

An 8-year-old boy and his 41-year-old father filled the hollowed out World War II-style "pineapple" grenade with black firecracker powder and attempted to ignite it.

When that didn't work, deputies say, someone stuck it in a large flower pot on the top shelf of an entertainment center.

On Thursday, deputies say, the boy tried again.

Edward George Weise III, now 9, was flown to Tampa General Hospital Thursday after the grenade exploded at 5:25 p.m. in his kitchen, critically injuring him.

Moments before the explosion, Weise's mother, Ann Marie Weise, 39, saw the boy holding a metal lighter and told him to put it away. Weise told deputies she was in a different room when she heard the blast.

Deputies say she purchased at least one inert grenade two years ago at an auction on U.S. 98 in Lakeland.

Through a hospital spokeswoman, both she and the boy's father declined comment.

The Florida Department of Children and Families confirmed it is investigating the matter, which is typical in cases like this involving children.

The boy lives in the house, on 8625 Sunnydale Lane, with both of his parents, his mother's boyfriend, Larry Busby, 46, and his stepsister, Stephanie Weise, 20.

Deputies found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the master bedroom shared by Busby and Ann Marie Weise. Polk County sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Wood said no one has been arrested, but charges are pending.

Jeffrey Weise, the boy's uncle, said the accident involving "Little Eddie" is the latest in a string of tragedies for the family. The child's sister, Melissa, died from cancer in 2004 at age 12, he said.

"It's been tough for them," he said.

According to the Ledger in Lakeland, Weise ran to her son, took him outside and cradled him in a red blanket before paramedics flew Edward to TGH by medical helicopter.

The mother was not injured, but Wood said she was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Born in New York, Eddie moved as a young child to Florida with his family. He is enrolled as a second-grader at Churchwell Elementary, according to a school official.

"He's a good kid," said Jeffrey Weise, who lives in Georgia. "He's a little wild and curious. But he's a good kid."

The DCF received a call about the grenade explosion through the state's abuse hot line. Ann Berner, a DCF administrator, could not say who reported it, but she said the department is working with the family to ensure there aren't other safety concerns.

She said the boy has not been the subject of any DCF investigations in the past. She could not speak to whether his parents have been investigated before.

Eddie had surgery Thursday night. His uncle said the boy's father has been by his side since.

Florida records indicate no past arrests for Edward Weise Jr., now 42. Ann Marie Weise was arrested once in 2007 on larceny charge.

Busby has had 16 arrests, including multiple convictions that led to more than 11 years in prison for grand theft, burglary and grand theft auto.

Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at rcatalanello@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3383.

Grenades found in Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG — A 85-year-old St. Petersburg woman found two grenades in her laundry room Friday, but authorities said the devices were inert. Pinellas County sheriff's deputies were called to 9741 52nd Ave. N shortly after 4:30 p.m., officials said. A Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office bomb squad removed the devices, which they determined to be training dummies.

Injured boy's father helped him fill grenade with firecracker powder, deputies say 02/19/10 [Last modified: Monday, February 22, 2010 8:53am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas licensing board needs cash. Will the county give it any?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– The grand jury that said Pinellas County should not take over the troubled construction licensing board also said the county should bail out the agency before it goes broke in 2018.

    Pinellas County Commission chair Janet Long isn't keen on the idea of the county loaning money to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board afloat. The county has no say over the independent agency, which could run out of funding in 2018. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. Is the Bundt cake back? How retro baked goods are becoming trendy again

    Cooking

    Once there were grunts and slumps, buckles and brown betties. Oh, and pandowdies and sonkers. In the olden days, people routinely made angel food cakes, tomato soup cakes and hummingbird cakes. These were not Duncan Hines mixes, but rather confections made from scratch following yellowed and stained recipes in your …

    Nothing Bundt Cakes in Tampa offers a variety of options, from tiny “bundtinis” and 10-inch cakes that serve 18 to 20 people. Core flavors include lemon, marble, red velvet and chocolate-chocolate chip, with featured flavors like confetti.
  3. What you need to know for Monday, Sept. 25

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Craig Butz, executive director of Pepin Academies and former professional hockey player, died in a crash with a boat Saturday. His daughter Teagan, 4, remained in critical condition Sunday afternoon. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   TIMES, 2013]
  4. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  5. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.