Inert grenade closes roads outside Don CeSar

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Emergency crews have cordoned off a section of St. Pete Beach after an apparent grenade was found outside the Don CeSar Hotel this morning. They now say it was merely an inert device.

According to the sheriff’s office, deputies were called to the hotel just after 11:30 after something that appeared to be a grenade was found in bushes on the east side of the hotel property.

Deputies closed Casablanca Avenue and asked tourists to avoid the area.

“We started getting shepherded out of the roadway and they were like, 'Get your trailer boat out of the way,'" recalled witness Sam Coleman, who is in town for the nearby boat races.

Two hours later, though, the Tampa Police Department bomb squad determined the device was an inert training grenade. It was not immediately clear where it came from.

"It never had the capacity to ever be any type of explosive," explained Sgt. Spencer Gross of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, adding, “there’s no threats we’ve received, no threats of any kind.”