An Afganistan veteran working for Lawrence Scioto County Solid Waste Management was able to identify a potentially explosive threat and call for help this afternoon.
The employee was helping supervise inmates from the STAR Community Justice Center’s work release program on a cleanup project on Dry Run Road in West Portsmouth when a metal box containing suspected explosive devices was found.
The employee recognized the devices from his time in Afghanistan and alerted the Sheriff’s Office. Officers closed Dry Run Road at St. Route 104, photographed the box, and set up a 500 ft. perimeter with the help of the Washington Township Fire Department.
The photos were sent to the Columbus Fire Department Bomb Squad who immediately dispatched a team.
The arrival of the team caused a huge stir on social media. They ID’d the items in the box as incendiary military devices, neutralized them, and took them back to Columbus for disposal.
Dry Run was reopened shortly before 2:30 pm. The devices were not assembled but could still have posed a public safety threat. No one was injured.
The Sheriff’s Office reminds anyone who finds a suspicious device to call 911
We also thank the cooperation from the Columbus Police Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, and other local government officials for quickly responding to our calls. A giant shout out to the Volunteer Fire Department of Washington Twp that put their lives on the line to protect the scene.
The Director of the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District spoke in County Commissioner’s meeting today. He started by saying “Good Work.” A timeline of the incident was given. He thanked Captain Shawn Sparks and the Sheriff’s office for the quick response.
The Director stated that the work release prisoners were returned safely to STAR Community Justice Center immediately upon the discovery of the device. He, again, confirmed that the items found were “grenades”.
Scioto County Daily News reached out to Dan Palmer, the district coordinator at the Lawrence-Scioto County Solid Waste Management Division to see if we could speak to the employee. After checking with the eagle-eyed veteran, Palmer reported back that, with all due respect, the modest man didn’t want any public attention for his actions.
That’s certainly not an uncommon attitude among veterans and we asked Palmer to pass on our thanks for the man’s service both at home and in Afghanistan.