This posting inaugurates a new category of posting: The Adventures of Florida Man; the mythic superhero of popular culture who crops up periodically in police blotters.
Google news is great for this sort of thing, because you can save a search for “Florida man”+”arrested” and it’ll update you with his adventures in a section of your front page. There are other tools for doing this sort of thing but I still sometimes use google.
From Newsweek [nw]
Florida Man Finds Grenade While Magnet Fishing but Drives to Taco Bell Before Calling Cops, Sparking Evacuation
A Florida man caused an evacuation at a Taco Bell in Ocala this weekend after telling cops he drove there with a hand grenade he found while magnet fishing.
In social media updates yesterday, officials from the Ocala Police Department advised citizens to avoid the area after it was verified that the device was an “authentic WWII hand grenade.”
It appeared that the man, who was not identified by law enforcement, had waited until arriving at the popular fast food restaurant before reporting his discovery to the authorities.
The department said bomb squad experts had to be called onto the scene to remove the grenade, which they fortunately did so without incident. The Taco Bell closed for about an hour.
The police Twitter account wrote earlier: “Be advised that the Taco Bell on East Silver Springs Blvd. has been evacuated, following report of an explosive device located in a vehicle on premises.”
It’s not a bad idea to know how to recognize inert armaments from live ones. 10 years ago, one of my neighbors asked me, “do you think you might want this? I know you have all kinds of weird junk…” and handed me a live German 88mm antiaircraft round. I did not poop myself on the spot because I know the fuses on those things are rather stable. Rather. There was a team of guys drilling holes to drop explosives in so they could sono-map for gas for fracking and I dropped by there, explained the situation, asked if they had a deep hole they were going to be filling over, and now that round is 150 feet down where it’s not likely to ever bother anyone. Unless someone goes magnet fishing down mining bore-holes, that is.
Unlike Florida Man, I did not call the police because – as you can see – they are duty bound to take the safest course of action (if you are white) but I figured I’d wind up on some terrorist watch-list, or in Gitmo. On the other hand, it takes the steely courage of Florida Man to drive around with something like that in his car. I’ve seen hand grenades go off (a few seconds after I threw them as far from me as I could, which is “not far enough”) and those things are terrifying.