A World War II hand grenade discovered by an Oak Park resident while cleaning out his attic led to a brief evacuation of Oak Park Village Hall Tuesday morning.
Around 9:30 a.m. an Oak Park man walked up to the police desk and told the desk officer he had the grenade and an antique handgun in the bag. Officer Derrick Verge took the bag and walked it out of the station and placed the bag on the ground outside by the village hall’s south entrance.
“We then evacuated the building and called Cook County Bomb Squad,” said Deputy Chief of Police Bob Scianna.
According to Scianna, the resident had been going through his attic, sorting through his father’s old belongings.
“He discovered a grenade and a handgun, which he brought into the police station,” said Scianna, who described the grenade as an inert World War II-style fragmentation grenade.
“When the bomb tech examined it, he found that it didn’t contain any explosive. It was inert. It wasn’t going to go off,” Scianna said.
Squads cars blocked off the approach streets to the village hall and to the parking lot, as village hall employees stood outside in the parking lot and along Madison Street for about 30 minutes waiting for the bomb squad technician to drive over from the Cook County Sheriff’s Maybrook facility.
The bomb technician said that the grenade would be stored in the bomb squad’s bunker temporarily before being destroyed.
Chief of Police Rick Tanksley said that he was impressed by the behavior of visitors and staff when asked to evacuate.
“We evacuated in less than three minutes,” said Tanksley. “People followed directions without question.”
Tanksley added that while he applauded the man for contacting police regarding the grenade, anyone finding themself in a similar situation should call police and let them come to them.
“It’s best not to transport these (explosive) devices,” he said.