Iowa man builds explosive device in restaurant, calls police on himself


DES MOINES, Iowa – An Iowa man called police on himself Tuesday and told responding officers he had built an explosive device while sitting at a restaurant, authorities said.

Ivory Washington, 40, was at a sushi restaurant in Des Moines when he made the call to authorities. Washington described the improvised explosive device as a fake, but police said it was actually real.

“Obviously, you’re going to treat this thing like it’s the real deal until you know something different,” Des Moines police Public Information Officer Sgt. Paul Parizek told WHO-TV. “We were able to separate him from the device without incident, take him into custody and we got the bomb squad there. They did their diagnostic on this device and found out that it basically is a homemade hand grenade. It was legit. When they tested it to see if it would explode, it did.”

Not only was the device operable, according to police, but they also believed it would have an injury radius of about 25 feet, and a potential kill zone of 10 feet.

Iowa man
Ivory Washington, 40, was arrested for building a homemade hand grenade while sitting in a restaurant. (Polk County Jail)

Police said Washington was trying to make a point by allegedly building the grenade.

“He gave us a story where he is extremely frustrated with our world today,” Parizek said. “And, believes that people that don’t take these types of threats seriously. So, he was going to make a point that he could sit somewhere and construct a device and hopefully somebody would call the police. He said that he attempted this in one of the suburbs and nobody cared. So, he got more frustrated, came downtown, sat there, built it while he was sitting in the restaurant and finally called the police on himself.”

For the stunt, Washington was charged with possession of explosive or incendiary material with intent. He was being held on $10,000 bond in the Polk County Jail.

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