A grenade was defused at Eleanor Pardee Park today in the early afternoon, after receiving a call from a homeowner who had discovered it in their backyard.
According to Sergeant Eric Bulapal, the homeowner had initially uncovered the bomb while he was doing garden work, before contacting police, who arrived on the scene at 2:56 p.m.
“The police went out there, and confirmed that there was an object that appeared to be a grenade,” Bulapal said. “So they evacuated the residents, we contacted Santa Clara Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, and they came out and verified that it was a grenade.”
The bomb was then moved by the team to Pardee park where the surrounding area was evacuated and contained, and was safely disposed of at the park, according to Bulapal.
Paly alumnus Johnny Loftus, who graduated in 2018, was driving past the park while the events were taking place and witnessed multiple police vehicles and the Santa Clara bomb squad van.
“The police had the entire park field secured, and the bomb squad was checking out the site of the explosive, directly in the middle of the field,” Loftus said.
The team then took care of the explosive by removing the blasting cap and then detonated, leading to a both visible and audible explosion, according to Loftus.
“They remotely set off the blasting cap first after moving it to a safe place,” Loftus said. “Then I saw them cover the main explosive with sandbags, and then again remotely detonate it using a yellow wire.”
The origins of the bomb are still unknown, and will probably remain that way, with no investigation to be conducted, according to Bulapal.
“It (the grenade) did not belong to the homeowner,” Bulapal said. “It appeared to have been buried there for quite some time.”
The homeowner has lived there for over 20 years, and the bomb may have belonged to the prior owner, according to Bulapal.
“It’s not uncommon for older homes that were owned by veterans . . . that have had some of these ordinances that have been left behind, unbeknownst to the new owner,” Bulapal said.
Despite there being an explosion however, there didn’t seem to be any panic, as people gathered around the park interested to see what was going on, according to Loftus.
“(It was) funny to see all the kids and families watching without almost any worry,” Loftus said. “And then carrying right back on with their lives as soon as it concluded.”