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Grenade tossed at St. Petersburg police a dud

ST. PETERSBURG — A drunk and distraught man threw a grenade at two police officers Friday night in a botched attempt at "suicide by cop," authorities said.

Joseph John Hyde did not get his wish. And the grenade turned out to be disarmed.

Police gave this account:

St. Petersburg officers Courtney Zak and Wayne Pete answered a report around 9:40 p.m. of a disturbance at Hyde's home, 5021 34th Ave. N. A group was arguing over paw prints a cat left on somebody's car.

Hyde threatened to hurt several people, including a child living in his home. Hyde said he had been drinking all day.

Then Hyde reached for what the officers thought might be a weapon.

One officer tried to stun Hyde with a Taser, but that didn't stop him from throwing something at the them: a hand grenade.

Police later learned the explosives had been removed.

Hyde, 58, was charged with resisting arrest, two counts of felony aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest without violence and disorderly intoxication.

He was held in lieu of $10,350 bail.

After he was in custody, Hyde said he hoped the grenade would scare the officers into shooting him.

"From outward appearances, an observer would believe it to be real," said Lt. William Korinek. "They would have had cause to shoot him."

Grenade tossed at St. Petersburg police a dud 02/21/09 [Last modified: Saturday, February 21, 2009 8:47pm]
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