Sheriff: Airsoft grenade launcher surfaces in Florida Goodwill donation bin

Posted at 11:13 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-01 17:21:43-05

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Goodwill employees discovered an object that the Manatee County Sheriff's Office initially described as a grenade launcher, loaded with a live grenade, over the weekend at a Sarasota store. 

This item was later described by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office as an airsoft grenade launcher.

Employees at a Bradenton store didn't recognize the weapon and sent it to Goodwill's Bargain Barn in Sarasota. 

Deputies with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office responded to the store on Sunday. A spokesperson tells ABC Action News, they disposed of the active grenade by placing the item in a Hazmat locker. 

"How is that even possible," asked Shannon Flinton, who shops at Goodwill weekly. "I've seen some crazy, off the wall things, but that's wild."

Goodwill Manasota's retail store on 51st Avenue East in Bradenton receives an estimated 124,000 items annually, including some bizarre and dangerous donations that never make it to the sales floor. 

"A urn with ashes inside of it, firearms, ammunition, gold teeth," said manager Joe Beshures. 

It's unknown who donated the airosft grenade launcher but Goodwill Manasota says its staff is trained to identify and dispose of hazardous donations. 

"We would never want to put any of our customers or employees in any safety risk at all," said Beshures. 

Editors Note: We have received multiple comments from viewers stating they believe the Manatee County Sheriff's Office may have misidentified the device. The Sheriff's Office now tells us it was an airsoft launcher.