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Grenade in East locker causes evacuation

Sept. 14, 2009

Wauwatosa East High School was evacuated last week after a custodian reported seeing a grenade in a student's locker.

After questioning the students who share the locker, school administrators determined the Vietnam-era grenade was inert. The 14-year-old was not arrested. Instead, school district officials said they would handle disciplining the student.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A custodian was sweeping the hallways at 6:05 p.m. Sept. 8, when he saw an open locker with what looked like a hand grenade inside and a student nearby. He alerted administrators, but when they returned to the locker it was closed and the boy was gone.

Officials called the Milwaukee County bomb squad and talked to the parents of one of the boys who shared the locker. They said they were aware of the grenade, but were not worried because the grenade was inactive with a hole in the bottom where it had been hollowed out.

But the grenade actually belonged to his locker partner, who purchased the grenade from an Army surplus store because they wanted cool and unusual locker decorations, the owner said. His parents said they were aware he bought it, but did not know he had brought it to school.

The grenade was later turned over to the boy's mother.

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