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Playing Pasadena children find buried, unexploded artillery shell


&TC; A group of children found an unexploded artillery shell partially buried in the back yard of a Pasadena home yesterday.

A state fire official confirmed that the rusted 77mm shell dated before World War II. Though the warhead was attached, Deputy State Fire Marshal Richard Brocco could not say whether the bomb could detonate.

Brandon Leddon, 6, found the shell about 3:30 p.m. while playing with friends and siblings in his back yard in the 100 block of Waldo Road in Laurel Acres.

"He said, 'Mom, look what I found. We found a bomb,' " said Brandon's aunt, Barbara Prista, who was visiting from Chesterfield. After some debate, Ms. Prista called police.

Brandon's father, Edward Leddon, said he had mowed over the shell numerous times in the past month. "I thought it was a piece of pipe," he said.

But the two county police officers were nearly positive they were looking at an explosive device. "It does look like some kind of mortar shell," said Eastern District Officer Robert "Bobby" Crawford.

Sgt. Joseph Campbell recommended that the group hovering over the foot-long device, which was on a picnic table, move back.

"I wouldn't stand so close, as dangerous as that thing looks."

"It doesn't look too dangerous," shouted out Brandon's mother, Linda, from her back door.

"I'm just trying to figure out why it is in this area," Sergeant Campbell said.

Shortly past 4 p.m., Mr. Brocco took the device away. He said the shell showed signs of impact and that it will be turned over to the military for disposal.

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