Buried bomb discovered in backyard

Law enforcement officials detonated what they determined was an improvised explosive device that a Santa Rosa man found while landscaping his backyard today, Santa Rosa police said.

Santa Rosa police said officers responded to a report of a suspicious device at 5:24 p.m. at the West Oaks Apartments in the 2500 block of Guerneville Road.

Santa Rosa police Sgt. Marcus Sprague said the device was encased in some sort of cloth pouch and measured roughly 5-inches wide and 15-inches deep. The material was covered in dirt, making it hard to determine exactly the kind of cloth or what was inside, Sprague said.

The pouch had a couple 35mm film canisters with wicks poking out of the top, which officers suspected might be an improvised explosive, Sprague said.

Police said the device looked like it had been buried in the ground for some time and there were roots wrapped around it and the casing was partially deteriorated.

Sprague said there was no way to know just how long it had been buried.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s explosive ordinance disposal unit was called to assist with the disposal of the device, police said.

Police cordoned off the area for approximately 50 minutes while the bomb squad rendered the device safe using water and ceramic rounds, which were fired at the devise from a close distance, police said.

According to Santa Rosa police, the Sheriff’s bomb squad was able to confirm that the device was actually an improvised explosive. Sprague said the bomb squad was able to destroy the device without ever activating whatever explosive was inside.

Police said that due to the manner in which the device was destroyed, no further information is available about the device’s contents or origin.

A representative from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office was not immediately available for comment.