LEROY, N.Y. (WIVB) - Police took no chances when they found a live bomb inside a man's vehicle in Genesee County. The alarming discovery prompted an emergency evacuation on Lake Street in LeRoy.
During a routine traffic stop for speeding, officers say they smelled marijuana coming from 26-year-old Paul Kaiser's car. Police initiated a consent search of the East Aurora man's vehicle and say they found a rifle and discovered a live grenade in the trunk.
"It was scary," said one Lake Street resident. "We wanted to get out of here in a hurry. Let's put it that way!"
LeRoy Police Chief Chris Hayward said, "He indicated he had made it. He was able to purchase the items to make it, and was able to do it."
Once officers discovered the explosive device inside the vehicle they immediately had to take precautions, and that included evacuating several nearby residents. A portion of the street was shut down and about a dozen people from eight homes in the immediate area were told to get out. Renee Mills was among them.
"It was like banging on the door and you got to go because there's a bomb in front of your house. Like, what? Yeah, it felt like a dream for a while," Mills said.
The State Police bomb disposal unit was called in to secure the device.
LeRoy Police Det. John Condidorio explained, "Certainly, some of the shrapnel could have struck somebody and injured somebody."
Authorities are still sorting out the details.
"Whether this was truly just an innocent kid who liked to put together explosives or if there was something more to it," Det. Condidorio noted.
Karen Ebersold lives across the street from where the driver was stopped. She says it makes you wonder.
"You just never know what you're going to find, and who's going to be having what. Here we're just regular people and somebody comes by with a loaded car," she said.
Police say Kaiser has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree in connection with the homemade grenade, and also one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, speeding, driving with a suspended license, and un-inspected motor vehicle.
The roadway remained closed for about two hours. Authorities are conducting a search of Kaiser's Bullis Road home to determine if any other explosives are there.
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