Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF library discovers live grenade in box of donated war memorabilia

Three floors of the library were evacuated after this grenade was found in a box of relics that had been donated to USF.

USF Police Department

Three floors of the library were evacuated after this grenade was found in a box of relics that had been donated to USF.

TAMPA — It sat in a cardboard box for days as students in the bustling University of South Florida library came and went:

A rusty red, pineapple-shaped grenade — tucked in with a menagerie of military relics donated to USF.

It waited there on the quiet third floor, where the university keeps its special collections, until somebody decided to unpack the box about noon Wednesday.

Once library staffers got a good look, they called the university police, who then called the Tampa Police Department's bomb squad. Students were evacuated from the library's third floor, plus the floor above and the one below, for about an hour. An emergency text message went out to all USF students, warning them to stay away from the area.

"It's one of those things, you want to err on the safe side," said USF Police Department spokesman Lt. Chris Daniels.

Good thing they did.

After bomb squad members carted the grenade away, they took it to an isolated place and detonated it. It was live.

Daniels said the box of stuff from either World War I or II had been dropped off by the family of a deceased inventor of military gadgets. Daniels guessed that the family hadn't inspected the box closely.

"They may have had this thing laying around the house," he said. "I don't in any way believe this is a malicious act. I think someone just thought this really couldn't be a real one. But here we are."

Another text message went out about 1:40 p.m.: All clear.

The students went back to their studies.

Times staff writer Danny Valentine contributed to this report.

USF library discovers live grenade in box of donated war memorabilia 12/07/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 10:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. North Korea denies torturing American detainee Otto Warmbier (w/video)

    World

    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Friday denied it cruelly treated or tortured an American student who was detained for more than year and died days after being released in a coma.

    Mourners line the street after the funeral of Otto Warmbier, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Wyoming, Ohio. Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia undergraduate student who was sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years in prison with hard labor in North Korea, died this week, days after returning to the United States. [Associated Press]
  2. Johnny Depp jokes about assassinating President Trump at Glastonbury Festival (w/video)

    Celebrities

    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp has asked a crowd at the Glastonbury Festival when was the last time an actor assassinated a president. The remarks came during a segment Thursday in which Depp was speaking about President Donald Trump.

    Actor Johnny Depp introduces a film at the Glastonbury music festival at Worthy Farm, in Somerset, England, Thursday, June 22, 2017. [Grant Pollard | Invision/AP]
  3. Morning after off day: Rays ready for slumping O's

    Blogs

     

  4. Florida education news: Charter schools, traveling man, lunch prices and more

    Blogs

    #HB7069: Now that it's law, HB 7069 has a new target on its back: Will it be challenged in court? Broward County Democrat Sen. Gary Farmer says he's doing all he can "to …

    Thousands of children attend Florida charter schools, which are growing in number and now stand to receive capital projects local tax revenue.
  5. Forecast: Hot, humid and mostly dry conditions prevail for St. Pete Pride weekend

    Weather

    The threat of any lingering effects from Tropical Storm Cindy have passed, leaving behind a relatively dry — but hot and humid — St. Pete Pride weekend.

    Tampa Bay's 7-day forecast [WTSP]