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Bomb Squad Diffuse Apparent Lake Hoax

A member of the Tupelo Police Department Bomb Squad wearing heavy protective gear makes the difficult uphill trek toward the Persimmon Hill restrooms. The squad x-rayed the cabinet and determined the contents looked suspicious. – Photos courtesy Deputy Stu Holliday

A two-drawer file cabinet (bottom photo) marked with stickers which promoted an Indonesian environmental cause was found in the entranceway to a men’s restroom at Enid Lake.

By Jack Gurner

The Tupelo Police Department Bomb Squad was called to Enid Lake Sunday after a suspicious looking metal file cabinet was found in the entranceway to a men’s restroom in the Persimmon Hills day use area.

The gray, two-drawer file cabinet was covered with eight stickers that read “Save Our Surabaya,” apparently a reference to a river in Indonesia that is the center of an environmental controversy in that country.

“As it turned out it wasn’t anything,” said Billy Samuels, Resource Manager for The Corps of Engineers at Enid. However, just a few days earlier in the same area the remnants of a meth lab were found in a garbage can.

“That’s why we were being very cautious with that cabinet,” Samuels added. “That stuff can be hazardous.”

Deputy Stu Holliday of the Yalobusha Sheriff’s Depart-ment was dispatched to the area about 7:40 a.m. and was asked to make an observation of the scene.

“I wouldn’t touch the thing,” Holiday said after he looked at the cabinet, noted the careful placement against the wall of the restroom, and read the eight stickers.

Rangers then called in the on-duty agent for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics who notified in the Tupelo Bomb Squad. After arriving about 12:45, bomb squad officers x-rayed the cabinet and determined that the contents appeared suspicious. A spiral coil of wire could be seen on the x-ray, according to Holliday.

A bomb squad robot was sent in and picked the lock on the cabinet and was able to open the draw. Through the video camera mounted on the robot, officers could see a green binder.

The robot was unable to open the binder so a high-powered blast of water was used to destroy it.

“It was probably a prank,” Samuels said. “But, these days you never know.”

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