A construction project at 916 Santa Barbara Street unearthed what appeared to be a hand grenade just before 3 p.m. today in downtown Santa Barbara. The discovery led to the closure of Santa Barbara Street between Carrillo and Canon Perdido streets as well as the temporary shutdown of Zaytoon’s and Playa Azul restaurants.
Santa Barbara Police Sergeant Chad Hunt, who was on the scene, explained that they had a mobile x-ray unit that allowed a technician to determine whether the grenade was inert or active. If inert, they would just toss it in the back of the truck and drive away, he said, and if live, they’d have to call in the bomb squad.
As of about 4:40 p.m., the final assessment was unclear, though it seemed that the police tape was being removed at that time, indicating an inert hand grenade. The roads and businesses are expected to open soon.