A former soldier was arrested and criminally charged on Thursday for storing a tank-piercing rocket on the roof of his Tacoma, Washington home.
The arrest came a day after the discovery of the explosive prompted an evacuation of the neighborhood and an elementary school.
Tracy Worwood, a former soldier in the U.S. Army, pleaded not guilty to unlawful possession of an explosive device without a license and reckless endangerment.
Worwood was released on his own recognizance.
According to the News Tribune, authorities were alerted to the explosive device after Worwood’s son visited him in late November, noticed the device, and took a picture of it.
When Worwood’s son got home, he showed the picture to his mother who alerted the FBI.
On Wednesday, Tacoma police went to Worwood’s home and found the explosive.
After finding the explosive, officers closed the streets in the neighborhood and asked residents to stay indoors.
The local elementary school continued with classes, but teachers were told to lock the exterior doors, and the students were transported to a nearby school where their parents and guardians picked them up.
Other schools in the area were placed on lockdown, and parents who lived nearby were asked to pick up their children.
Worwood told investigators he thought the explosive was a training round.
“The defendant claimed he received the explosive device from someone as a going away present,” police records show.
The Army sent officials to X-ray the explosive and they determined that it had been fired but never exploded.
The Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives sent agents to remove the explosive from Worwood’s home. The ATF agents it to the Tacoma Landfill, where they successfully detonated it.
According to officials, the explosive pierced a 5-inch steel plate when it was destroyed.
“This confirmed that the explosive device was a high explosive which could have caused injury or death,” prosecutors wrote in charging papers.
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