Suspicious Device on the Side of the Road
At approximately 7:00 AM this morning a reservist from the Army Reserve Center in Pinellas Park was jogging along Grand Avenue, a roadway just south of the Army Reserve Center. He spotted a device about 8 inches long with green tape and wires protruding from it. It appeared to be some type of explosive device. The device was located lying on the side of the road, and was not attached to anything. Police were notified and summoned the Tampa Police bomb squad. The roadway was shut down both east and west. Because of the small size no evacuations were made. Tampa Police experts visually examined the device and could not identify it. Tampa PD decided to destroy it on location. After photographing the device, they utilized a remote robot to destroy it with a shotgun projectile. The device did not explode when shot.
Further examination after the device was separated by the shotgun projectile showed that it was primarily a battery component with a military grade encasement. Further discussions with the military command of the Reserve Center confirmed that there was a training session conducted by the military over the weekend. Military personnel were training in the detection of explosive devices being attached to vehicles. They had established a mock check point near the vacant MCI building on MCI drive. Military vehicles were outfitted with mock training devices designed to look like a bomb. The vehicles were run through the checkpoint to see if the personnel in training could spot the device during their search. The vehicles were being driven from the Army Reserve Center to the MCI building, and it is possible this training device fell off the vehicle in transit.