A Baltimore County police officer wasn't playing jacks in the middle of Pulaski Highway yesterday. It just looked like he was.
Officer Michael Prendergast was bent over for about 20 minutes picking up -- one by one -- 50 pounds of 3-inch nails that had fallen from a vehicle and coated the eastbound slow lane for about one block in front of Golden Ring Mall, from the McDonald's restaurant to the Continental Motel.
"I tried not to look stupid," Officer Prendergast said, who closed the lane for the cleanup. "People were probably wondering what I was doing."
A man who reported the spill stayed to help the officer clean it up, and together they found most of the nails, Officer Prendergast said. Two men from Sullivan's Garage, a towing company that the county police use to clear accidents, arrived with brooms to help sweep up the silver mess.
No one knows how the nails got on the road, but police think they fell out of a truck.
But more important, police said, no one reported any flat tires after the spill.
For now, Sullivan's Garage has lots of nails.
"We have them," said tow truck operator Al Monks. "I guess we'll use them."