Police Investigate Inoperable Grenade Found on Maple Ave
Explosive device was real, Vienna police say, but its internal components had been removed.
The Vienna Police Department said Wednesday it is continuing to investigate an inert grenade left earlier this morning in the parking lot of Merchant Tire on Maple Avenue.
Police received a call around 7:14 a.m. about the grenade outside the main entrance to the tire shop, located at 141 Maple Ave W.
Officers shut down the road between Center Street and Lawyers Road for more than two hours, directing rush hour traffic onto side streets as the Fairfax County Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit worked to remove the device.
Once the device was removed to a safer location, the unit discovered the grenate was real but "its internal components had been removed, making it inoperable," police said.
Police also evacuated several local businesses, including nearby Maple Ave Restaurant. The eatery's owners said their cooks start at 9 a.m., and were notified of the incident at 8 a.m.
"We told our staff to hang tight until we got the ok from the FBI and others. We were allowed to go back in at 9:30 a.m," they wrote in a message to Patch, noting they were "glad things turned out ok."
Nearby Vienna Elementary School, located on Center Street, went into a short "secure the building" status as police removed the device; all doors leading into the school were locked, and all students remained inside.
"Staff reacted swiftly and appropriately, and our students behaved in an exemplary manner. At no time was anyone on school property in any danger. Normal operations resumed at the school around 10 a.m.," Principal John Carmichael wrote in an email to parents.
The roads reopened around 9:30 a.m.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact the Vienna Police Department at 703-255-6366
Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.