Most people, if they accidentally found a possibly-live grenade, would probably react by immediately calling the police. This weekend, in Ocala, Florida, however, that was not so.
On Saturday, a couple went out magnet fishing on the Ocklawaha River, a hobby that involves trawling bodies of water with magnets in order to find abandoned objects. At best, those finds are rare or valuable, but more often, magnet finishing seems to dredge up a lot of junk, like scrap metal, old tools, and abandoned bikes or scooters. The couple was hoping to find “precious metals,” according to a report provided to MUNCHIES by the Ocala Police Department.
Instead, the Florida couple found a hand grenade, amid other debris. The man “put the grenade into a plastic 5-gallon bucket with other assorted scrap metal he had salvaged, and later placed the bucket inside the truck of his girlfriend’s vehicle.” Then, for reasons that the Ocala PD were unable to clarify, they drove a few miles to Taco Bell.
At Taco Bell, the couple called the police, who evacuated the fast food joint and closed off the parking lot. While the first responder concluded that the pin on the grenade “did not appear to be functional,” diners seeking Crunchwraps and Fire sauce had to wait until the bomb squad arrived. After the grenade was secured in a bomb disposal trailer, Taco Bell reopened and the couple was allowed to leave.
It’s unclear how or why the grenade—which was identified as being from World War II—ended up in the Florida river. But it’s not the first time that old school explosives have been found at fast food spots: in 2015, a landscaping crew unearthed an active hand grenade while working outside a Maryland McDonald’s. It was, luckily, found and disabled without causing any injury.
While a situation like this is probably unlikely for most people, the Ocala PD would like people to remember that transporting a grenade of unknown origin is not a good idea—no matter how hard the fast food cravings might hit. A representative of the Ocala PD told MUNCHIES in an email, “Our recommendation would be to call 911 prior to moving a potential explosive device to any other location.”