Police say the Canton man and four teenagers helped from the roof of an unused warehouse where they were playing war games Saturday had explosives.
Police say the Canton man and four teenagers helped from the roof of an unused warehouse where they were playing war games Saturday had explosives. One of the devices, detectives said, may have been detonated earlier at an undetermined location. “Luckily no one was harmed in this incident. Many of these things go terribly wrong,” said Detective Sgt. Mark Kandel of the Canton Police Department. According to police, the following men were charged with criminal trespassing and illegally manufacturing or possessing explosive devices: Derrick S. Hall, 19, of 3732 Greenwood Pl. SW; Mitchell V. Alexander, 16, of 2228 Ninth St. SW; Daniel J. Antal, 15, of 2324 14th St. NE; Russell E. Qualls, 17, of 827 Benskin Ave. SW; and Damon A. Dupler, 17, of 649 Harrison Ave. SW, Stark County Court records said. The charge involving the explosives is a second-degree felony punishable upon conviction by a maximum of eight years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Hall was released from the Stark County Jail Monday after posting a $25,000 bond. The teenagers have also been released from the Multi-County Juvenile Attention Center and into the custody of their parents, Kandel said. The group was arrested Saturday night after police were called to the unused warehouse in the 4000 block of Division Road NE about 6:50 p.m. Saturday. Kandel said police had been called by a Norfolk Railroad employee who heard noises coming from the building, which is boarded up and owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Stark County Auditor’s Web site states. Canton firefighters with a ladder truck assisted police in removing the handcuffed youth from the second-story roof of the building. Police found the five on the roof of the building, Kandel said. “It appears that they were involved in a game of pellet tag,” he said. “They were playing in the building with what appears to be rubberized pellet guns using small plastic pellets. They were inside playing army or war or urban combat. “When the police arrived they abandoned their game, realizing that they had some illegal items. They were trying to hide on the roof.” The items, he said, were “grenade bodies,” hollowed-out hand grenades that had been refilled with “a form of pelletized gunpowder. They were using a regular cannon-type fuse as a detonating system,” the detective said. “It wasn’t like they had a paperweight, which is what these things are typically sold as. They’re basically used as novelty items.” The young men on the roof Saturday night had five of them. The grenades were found in a van that the group used to get to the warehouse. Kandel said police believe a sixth grenade may have been detonated at an unknown location. Police found a digital camera recording, Kandel said. The Summit County Bomb Squad recovered the grenades and took them back to Summit County for disposal, he said. “If they’re making something that is an explosive and if it detonates prematurely or before they anticipate it, they could lose their lives,” said Kandel. While it may sound the young men were playing an innocent game of war, Kandel said any of them could have been badly hurt or even killed. “It always seems to be someone innocent that is harmed by a childhood prank,” he said. Reach Canton Repository writer Lori Monsewicz at (330) 580-8309 or firstname.lastname@example.org.