Detroit — Detroit Police officers and prisoners have returned to the Eastern District headquarters after a man brought a grenade in a flower pot into the building Friday afternoon, prompting an evacuation of the building.
The grenade was removed by the department's bomb squad and safely detonated on Belle Isle. No one was injured.
Eastern District Commander Steven Dolunt said the man came to the building at about 12:45 p.m. Friday at Gratiot at Gunston on the city's east side.
"A guy walked up with an explosive device in a flower pot after cleaning his mother's backyard," he said.
Detroit Police Officer Willie Soles said he was conducting security checks on visitors when the man came in with the grenade.
"Basically, the guy walked up, I met him at the door and he said he found it under his mother's porch," Soles said. "I told him to set it back outside."
Police officers evacuated the building. They also removed about 30 prisoners from their cells, handcuffed them together and guarded them while they waited for the department's bomb squad to arrive. The incident prompted police to close off part of Gratiot on Friday afternoon. It has since reopened.
Officials said the bomb squad and Homeland Security personnel removed the grenade from the building and transported it to Belle Isle, where it was detonated.
Dolunt said the grenade pre-dated World War II. He said it was at least 80 years old and made with TNT.
It's not the first time someone brought a grenade to the Eastern District, Dolunt said. Last year, two women came into the building with three grenades in a Bed, Bath & Beyond shopping bag, he said.
That incident prompted the precinct to put a sign on its doors that reads: "NO WEAPONS ALLOWED OF ANY KIND, (including, Hand Grenades)."
Officials are not releasing the man's name and no arrests have been made.
Dolunt reminds residents not to go near explosive devices and to call police instead.
"We make house calls," he said. "Do not pick up and transport explosives and bring it to us. You're putting everyone in danger."