Update: Grenade Brought to Hermosa Beach City Hall Was Inactive

Hermosa Beach police initially believed a grenade brought to city hall was still live.

Editor's Note: This article was updated at 3 p.m. to reflect new information and the fact the grenade was found to be inert.

Hermosa Beach City Hall is open again after a man brought what police initially thought was a live grenade to the police department for disposal, causing the evacuation of the building and surrounding area.

According to Hermosa Beach police Sgt. Robert Higgins, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was called in to remove the grenade, which was later determined to be inactive.

Hermosa resident Jeff Wolfe, who found the World War II era "pineapple grenade" in his deceased father's war mementos chest, drove the grenade to the police station at around 12:30 p.m. for disposal but never brought it inside the building, Higgins said.

An hour and a half later, deputies with the bomb squad removed the grenade from Wolfe's white Porsche parked in front of city hall and disposed of it without incident. Deputies were seen holding the inert grenade before placing it in the front seat of their vehicle.

"They are going to take it and destroy it," said Hermosa Beach interim police chief Steve Johnson. "They are saying that if it ever ended up in the public again, we would be getting another one of these calls."

Police initially believed the grenade showed indications that it was still live and said there was no hole drilled in it to indicate it was inactive.

As a precautionary measure, police evacuated city hall and nearby sidewalks. Parts of the green belt in front of city hall was also shut down as police notified schools to divert their students away from the area, Higgins said.

According to Johnson, the bomb squad inspected the grenade and found that it did not contain any powder or an ignition source.

"Nobody got hurt and that is the biggest thing," Johnson said. "Not a bad day."

No charges will be brought against Wolfe and police said it was an honest mistake bringing the inactive grenade to the police department.

"It was completely innocent on his part," Higgins said after the incident.

Higgins said that anyone who finds what could be an explosive ordinance should leave it alone and call their local police department to come out and evaluate it.

"Just leave it in place," Higgins said.


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