Man causes stir when he drops off mortar round at fire station


Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at 11:05 p.m.

The Alachua County Sheriff's Office Bomb Disposal Team destroyed a mortar round that a man dropped off at a Columbia County fire station Monday.

No one was injured, and deputies were able to safely dispose of the shell in a pasture near the Columbia County Fire Ellisville station, firefighters and officers reported.

But both agencies said it was lucky no one got hurt.

The resident discovered the mortar shell while cleaning out a shed, said Columbia County Fire Division Chief David Boozer. Instead of leaving it where he had found it, he brought it to the fire station.

"My understanding was he drove with one hand and held it in the other," Boozer said. "He walked in and said hey and the guys quickly escorted him out. That's kind of a scary situation there."

Lt. Dan Brinsko with the Bomb Disposal Team said, "You can handle those things all day, and all of a sudden it will go off. If you find something like that, leave it alone. We'll come out and handle it our way. It could have just gotten mad while he was driving with it."

It was unclear from the markings on the mortar shell where it came from, Brinsko said.

Officers detonated the shell at about 2 p.m. after attaching a countercharge, Brinsko said.

Brinsko said the Sheriff's Office, which has an interlocal agreement with Columbia County to handle these kinds of situations, was contacted at approximately 10 a.m. about the mortar shell.

Lise Fisher can be reached at 352-374-5092 or fisherl@gvillesun.com.

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