By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published September 14, 2001
LARGO -- A man who found a mortar round in his garage Thursday morning thought someone at the fencing business where he works might be able to tell him what to do with the shell. So 33-year-old Largo resident Lloyd Canney Jr. decided to carry the round, which is about the size of a hubcap, to the bus station, police said.
This caught the attention of Largo police Officer William Shaw, who saw Canney walking at the intersection of East Bay and Wertz drives about 8:10 a.m. Shaw detained Canney, then left the mortar round in the median of East Bay Drive while he called the Tampa bomb squad. East Bay Drive was shut down, and a few dozen people were evacuated from several businesses, police said. Bomb squad members were able to determine the round was inert and Shaw removed it from the median and opened the road for traffic at 8:37 a.m., police spokesman Mac McMullen said. Canney was interviewed and released.
While he didn't commit a crime, McMullen said he commited a judgment error, particularly considering this week's terrorist events. "When you put this in the context of what's been going on in the last two days, certainly," McMullen said.