Grenade blasts in San Pedro Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 20 September 2017 00:00

Law enforcement authorities are reporting that a disturbing first has happened on the island of San Pedro. Someone detonated a grenade in an attempt to attack a family and cause harm or destruction.

The explosive was lobbed in the yard of Amancia Martinez, who lives in the San Mateo Area of San Pedro. This particular community is about a mile or so away from Downtown San Pedro, yet, those residents who live closer to the downtown were still able to clearly hear the blast of the explosion.

At around 8:20 p.m., on Saturday, September 16, 2 young men were reportedly seen throwing an object into Martinez’s yard, and hastily making a retreat. Moments later, the explosion was heard. The homeowner told police first responders that she was inside her house when she heard the detonation, and then felt her house shake. Those officers immediately realized that it was an explosive device which went off.

The BDF explosive expert, General David Jones, was immediately contacted, and he told the media in a police press conference that he immediately dispatched to the scene of the explosion.

From his inspection of the area, General David Jones identified  the particular type of device that was used as a US type, M67 fragmentation grenade. Jones commented, “When I visited the area I saw the crater at the bottom of the steps and after inspection of what occurred, I realized definitely it was a high explosive fragmentation grenade. It’s a first for San Pedro. In the over 20 years I’ve been in the Force, I haven’t heard of a grenade being used in San Pedro, but it was definitely a high explosive grenade, caused some damages to the steps. Some of the fragments went through the house that was about 15 meters away - it went through the bathroom. The houses in the adjacent area were all shaken. The other parts of the grenade that I am looking for hasn’t been found.”

Fortunately, there were no casualties, and though the General says that some of the grenade fragments went into Amancia Martinez’s bathroom, it did not physically harm her, apart from the hell of a scare she must have experienced when the grenade went off.

Police have since been vigorously investigating the incident trying to determine who the perpetrators are.

In that same police press conference, The head of the National Criminal Investigations Branch, Assistant Police Commissioner Joseph Myvette announced, “Police have since detained 3 persons in connection with this investigation which continues.” By Tuesday those persons had been released without being charged.

The police commanders said that these detentions were intelligence based, and these persons are being investigated.

It is uncertain why this grenade was thrown at the home of Amancia Acosta, but her son, spoke off camera to the press, candidly noting the threat to his family that this grenade posed.

He said, “The problem is they are coming to my yard, bringing problem to [us], throwing bomb in my yard… They can come all the way to yard, all the way behind - all the way across the bridge - all the way over here to come bring problems to us”

He was also critical of the police from San Pedro, complaining that their initial response to the detonation of the grenade was unfair to treat the victims as though they were somehow complicit in the throwing of this explosive.

He said, “They came to kick down our door. They came to hurt all of us at the back here. Well, me especially, they took me like a target, you understand? And we are tired of that. They came and threw a bomb at my yard. Several times they came to fire shots at my yard. People - we have to defend ourselves, but we are not bad people. And the, the law doesn’t understand that…”

It has been speculated that this attack was part of some criminal underworld feud taking place on the island. This man, who wished not to be identified by name, said, “You know…it’s not really about the situation that’s happening with gangs or what’s not.”

The cops will have to determine the motive for the attack, but the BDF General is very concerned about the threat and that criminals are in possession of grenades, in what presents as an elevated threat to public safety.

He said, “This type of weapon is not supposed to be in the urban area, it’s not to be in the hands of civilians. Grenades are designed for war time… If anybody was within 5 meters of that grenade when it exploded it would have killed them. It would have caused serious casualties if anyone was within 15 meters. But this type of grenade can cause injuries up to about 230 meters away, because the secondary effect from that grenade is the fragments that comes from the body.”

Police are also concerned about the threat of grenades, and they say they are monitoring it very carefully.

The cops want to keep the public safe, particularly during the Independence Day celebrations, citizens may feel a bit of discomfort from some new measures that they will be rolling out on Independence Day itself. They are asking for patience from the general public as they try to make sure that all these public activities taking place on September 21 happen without incident.