World War II grenade causes school lockdown

Dwyer Middle School and Smith Elementary School went into lockdown Wednesday morning after a Dwyer student brought a World War II-era hand grenade to campus to show friends, police said.

The device appeared to be inert, but the school contacted the Huntington Beach Police Department, which sent officers to the neighboring campuses on 17th Street, Lt. Russell Reinhart said. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad also arrived to examine the device.

Reinhart said the grenade still had an active firing pin, but the explosive material had been removed. The student, though, had taped the bottom of the grenade back on, which made it appear to be still active.

The grenade, he said, was apparently a family heirloom. School administrators found out about the device after a student notified a teacher, Reinhart said.

“It will be investigated as a criminal matter, but it’s preliminary to say what will happen,” he said.

The lockdown started about 10 a.m. and lasted slightly more than an hour. Even though the device was at Dwyer, police locked down both schools because of their proximity.

School officials notified parents of the lockdown via telephone and asked them not to come to the school to pick up their children. The device was examined in an office away from the students and later removed from campus, Reinhart said.

—Michael Miller