Threat of grenade found in Portales yard unknown

By Karl Terry: Freedom Newspapers

PORTALES — Whether a grenade found Saturday in a Portales yard was live or not couldn’t be determined, according to Portales Police Department spokesperson Lonnie Berry.

According to Berry, the condition of the grenade that had apparently been buried in the yard at Eighth and Chicago streets prevented personnel from Cannon Air Force Base’s 27th Civil Engineering Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit from determining its status or identification.

“They (EOD) took the safest course of action and destroyed the grenade by blowing it up,” Berry said.

The drama started shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday when Steve and Margaret Hodge turned the grenade up while tilling his father’s yard in preparation for a new lawn.

The police cordoned off an area of a block on each side of the home and evacuated City Park and the Memorial Building for two hours. Shortly before 4 p.m. the Cannon EOD squad arrived and scooped up the device, returning things in the neighborhood to normal.

Berry said no other items were found when the yard was swept with a metal detector. He said the grenade’s discovery is apparently just an isolated event, and police are not concerned about others turning up.