Overland Park man finds WWI explosive device in yard - KCTV5

Overland Park man finds WWI explosive device in yard

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OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

The FBI and police converged on an Overland Park neighborhood over the weekend all because of one man's potentially explosive discovery while doing a little gardening.

Anthony Scardino and his wife were doing some landscaping at his century-old home near West 68th Street and Santa Fe Drive in Overland Park when about 18 inches underground his shovel hit an artillery shell.

"I pulled it out of the ground, and I realized it was some sort of projectile," Scardino said. 

The explosive was made in 1917 for World War I.

"It is in my hands before I really thought, 'How dumb are you to hold onto this missile?'" Scardino said. "My wife goes, 'What do we do now?' I said we ought to call the police, and she said, 'Really, you think?'" 

The police were called, and that was when things got interesting.

"One police man led to two, which led to five, which led to the bomb squad, to the military, to the FBI, and then they told us we had to leave," he said.

As it turned out, the explosive was live - made nearly 100 years ago.  No one knows where it came from or how it ended up on his yard.

Local authorities called officials at Ft. Riley for help - everyone with just one hope that the fragile bomb didn't go boom.

"I was out in my yard around 8 p.m. and a gentlemen suggested I go in my house ... there might be an explosion," neighbor Brad Burnside said.  "Probably pretty serious to find an unexploded shell in your yard."

By then, neighbors said it was a scene unlike anything they had witnessed before.

After most of the day with their street shut down, the military took the shell and left.

Scardino said he plans on researching what he found, but that is his nature. He is a history teacher at Blue Valley High School.

When he shared with his class his weekend adventure, he said his students were intrigued and naturally did their best to ease his mind.

"The kids all go, 'Well maybe there are more.' So now I have this gnawing feeling ... well maybe there is more," Scardino said.

Scardino said that is a question he hopes never to know the answer to.

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