Newaygo City Hall, library evacuated after homemade bomb taken to police

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

A homemade bomb briefly closed down municipal buildings in the city of Newaygo on Monday before authorities transported it to a safe location and detonated it, police said.

A Brooks Township resident went to the Newaygo Police Department at about 2:30 p.m. Monday to report he had in his vehicle a suspicious item he believed could be some sort of explosive, officials said in a statement on the agency's official Facebook page.

He told police he found the item along the road in Brooks Township, about 40 miles north of Grand Rapids.

A police officer went to the vehicle in the parking lot and saw the item the man reported and agreed it appeared to be a homemade explosive. The officer called for backup and began closing nearby buildings, including Newaygo City Hall and the Newaygo Library, as a safety precaution. 

Deputies with the Newaygo County Sheriff's Office and firefighters with the city's fire department arrived at the scene.

As a precaution, first responders set up a perimeter and police began closing nearby roads.

Members of the Michigan State Police Bomb Squad removed the device, taking it to another location where they and firefighters safely detonated the explosive. Before then, however, the bomb squad confirmed to police the item was a homemade explosive device.

Police searched the area where the Brooks Township citizen reported he had found it but found nothing else suspicious.

Officials warned the public that if anyone finds a suspicious item they believe may be dangerous, they should leave it alone and call 911 to report it. "Please do not bring it to the police department where even more citizens may be," they said in a statement. "Homemade explosive devices can be very dangerous and volatile to friction and movement."

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez