Pipe bomb found in Essex playground

January 22, 1995|By Patrick Gilbert | Patrick Gilbert,Sun Staff Writer

An Essex woman who likes to keep a neighborhood playground clean will be a little more careful after finding a pipe bomb there Friday night.

Carol Monks was walking her two dogs, Coco and Grizzly, about 11 p.m. when she discovered a 12-inch length of white plastic pipe in the playground near the Country Ridge Shopping Center a half-block from her home.

"I wasn't sure exactly what it was except that it looked dangerous," said Mrs. Monks, who often disposes of bottles from the playground. "I took it home and my husband, who was in the service, told me right away that it looked like a bomb of some kind."

He was right. Police confirmed that the device was a live pipe bomb and ordered the Monks out of their home on Nicolay Way while police removed the device. Police told curious neighbors to stay in their homes.

County police spokesman E. Jay Miller said the device, made of polyvinyl chloride pipe, was placed in the department's bomb trailer and taken to an isolated area and disarmed.

The bomb, Mr. Miller said, was extremely dangerous.

"The fuse, according to the bomb technician, was made from a very fast-burning material," Mr. Miller said. "Had someone tried to set the device off, it likely would have exploded before they had time to reach safety."

Though Mr. Miller said police were glad that Mrs. Monks found the bomb, he said "the safer course for any citizen to take who thinks they have found an explosive device is to leave it alone, call police and let our experts handle the situation."

Mrs. Monks agrees.

"I've learned my lesson, believe me," she said yesterday. "It's just that my grandchildren and all the neighbors' children use that playground, and I just want to make it as safe as possible for them."

Police are investigating the incident, Mr. Miller said. Any one with information about the bomb is encouraged to call Baltimore County Police at 887-2198.

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