An explosives team detonated a pipe bomb in downtown Wallace after a citizen found the device Sunday afternoon in a trash bin and brought it into the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office.
Roger Steen was collecting cardboard behind the True Value hardware store when he found a 6-inch length of PVC pipe wrapped in black electrical tape with a fuse sticking out of one end. He carried it to the nearby sheriff’s office at about 12:30 p.m., said Mitch Alexander, Shoshone County undersheriff.
“We appreciate a citizen trying to do the right thing, but you know this was a little much,” said Alexander.
A dispatcher inside ordered Steen to march the device outside the glass-fronted office, place it on a park bench and leave – quickly. A bomb squad was sent from Spokane while authorities in Wallace cleared a few nearby stores and apartments.
The pipe bomb did not contain shrapnel, sparing area windows. A robot was used to set off the bomb, and the blast blew a large hole in the park bench, Alexander said.
Steen could not be reached for comment.
Investigators are working the case and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives will be alerted.