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OFFICER REACTS COOLY TO GRENADE IN HIS HAND WOMAN GIVES HIM 'OBJECT' SHE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH

Buffalo Tactical Patrol Officer Richard W. Schmitz was at Bailey Avenue near Genesee Street Friday night when a woman waved for him to stop.

He rolled down his window as the woman approached his patrol car.

"I have something I don't know what to do with," she said, handing the 41-year-old officer an object.

After she placed the object in his hand, she walked away.

Inspector Thomas A. Kinsella said Schmitz looked at the object and realized it was a grenade.

"It was a pineapple-type grenade like the ones used in World War II," Kinsella said.

Schmitz "used good judgment," Kinsella said. "Because the area was congested with people, he put the grenade on the car seat beside him and drove his vehicle to a vacant lot at Bailey and Genesee."

Schmitz, who has been a policeman since 1971, then radioed the dispatcher shortly after 8 p.m. and said: "I have a problem."

He explained what had happened and asked for assistance. Kinsella went to the scene after the Bomb Squad of the Erie County Sheriff's Department had been called to assist.

It turned out, according to Kinsella, that the handle, the pin and the primer had been removed from the grenade and the fuse portion had already burned out.

Kinsella said he was proud of Schmitz's reaction to the situation. He praised the officer for driving the grenade to the vacant lot away from an area where it could have injured others.

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