After getting a call from concerned neighbors in Breezy Point about a person who hadn’t been seen or heard from in some time, police responded in the early afternoon of Wednesday, December 18th, and found a deceased man and a grenade.
Police entered the premises at 104 Rockaway Point Boulevard, and discovered the body of Kevin O’Donahue, age 56. Soon after, EMS declared him dead at the scene from what appeared to be natural causes. His exact time and cause of death will be determined by the NYC Medical Examiner.
After finding O’Donahue, police, in a standard search of the premises, found something they did not expect: a hand grenade.
FDNY fire trucks and EMT units were dispatched as were additional police personnel and NYPD Emergency Service Unit officers. At least eight vehicles and dozens of officers and firefighters came to the scene.
A police officer at the scene said “We got a call that a grenade was in the house. We think it’s hollowed out. Possibly it’s something like a paperweight. But we’re waiting for the bomb squad.”
Police, local security officers and crossing guards kept afternoon traffic moving as officers conducted their investigation. The area was not evacuated.
By 3 p.m. Emergency Services Unit officers had determined that the grenade posed no danger.
“They just finished. We’re all clear,” said Captain Craig Adelman, who was also on the scene. The 100th Precinct commander stated the bomb squad confirmed that the device, although an apparently real hand grenade, “was inert. It had been hollowed out.”
Police sources speculated the grenade may have been a souvenir.
“Officers also checked for any other hazards or firearms,” Adelman said. He confirmed they found none.
An area man, who stated he did not know O’Donahue, said that even in the small community from “the way things are (after Sandy), you don’t know if people are home, or if people are still working on their houses. Also a lot of people are summer residents. Some are still away from the storm.”
Fire and police personnel left the scene shortly after 3:15 p.m.