This evening a man attempted to rob the Washington Redskins store in Washington DC’s Union Station. The man demanded $20 or he would detonate the grenade he was holding. The cashier apparently did not believe the grenade was real, and refuse to pay.
A Capital Police officer and an Amtrak police arrived on the scene and both believed that the man in fact had a live grenade. The officers called for backup. There was a scuffle between the suspect and the two officers as they attempted to subdue the man. During the scuffle at some point the pin to the grenade fell out. The Amtrak police officer, who had obviously been trained for such a situation, grabbed the grenade and held it. Union Station and the busy mall and theaters inside were evacuated.
I’m not a grenade expert, so I honestly don’t know how the guy held this thing to keep it from detonating. A quick search on the web only turned up that you should not allow the spoon to release. Anyway that’s not the important part of the story. The Amtrak police officer had to hold that grenade for 40 minutes while the bomb squad Bomb Disposal Unit arrived. Note to DC Mayor Williams, this is going to bite someone in the ass after the fact, look for your fall guy now. How can you take 15 minutes to respond and another 25 to get the grendade into the disposal unit?
All of which leads to the more interesting question. What the hell do you think about with ordnance in your hand?
If you are ex-military (which I am not) maybe you remember your Live Hand Grenade Range Operation Checklist. If you are an Amtrak police officer? Maybe, “They don’t pay me enough for this shit!”
The robbery suspect had another grenade with him that turned out to be a
fake dud. No one knows if the one the officer held is fake, because they made him walk it out of the train station to the bomb disposal unit (which looks like a round trash can on wheels), and drop it in. They are going to detonate the BDU tomorrow, and evidently they can’t tell if that which is exploded is actually an explosive itself in this process. I guess they destroy suspected items with overwhelming force, sort of like the US military. Keep that in mind if your luggage ever gets confiscated at the airport.
Anyway this guy has the “right stuff” regardless of whether the grenade was fake or real.
Since this is breaking news I don’t have a Washington Post link yet. There will be one Tuesday morning.
Fox News has the story