Northwest NEWS

November 22, 1999

Front Page

City block evacuated after suspicious device in pickup proves to be a bomb

by Lisa Allen, Valley View editor

   DUVALL--The block around City Hall was evacuated for part of the afternoon of November 15 after a man asked police to look at what he thought was a bomb in his pickup truck.

   Police Chief Glenn Merryman said the man told him that his son had found the device while rummaging through an old barn during a trip to North Dakota and brought it back home with him. Merryman, after taking a look, decided to call in the King County Sheriff's Bomb Squad to further inspect the device, which turned out to be a homemade bomb.

   "It was a cardboard cylinder, slightly larger than a stick of dynamite, with a fuse and blasting cap attached," said Merryman. "Incredibly, the man had carried it into town on the seat of his pickup truck."

   Merryman said the son had apparently been keeping the device for some time before the father found it and decided to take it to police. "The bomb squad took it away and detonated it," he said. "I don't know exactly what it was made of, but it was highly dangerous, and if it had gone off, it would have done a lot of damage."

   Merryman said the man should have called police rather than trying to transport the device. "Blasting caps can be set off by static electricity or radio transmission," he said. "I would warn anyone who finds such a device not to touch it, but to get to a safe place and call 911."

   The man had parked his pickup in the Gardens and SunSpaces parking lot. The immediate area, including City Hall and Gardens and SunSpaces, was evacuated between 11 a.m. and about 2:30 p.m.