The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

April 30, 2013

Geneva Township ‘target’ of explosions

Police, firefighters respond as blasts rattle windows

By MARGIE NETZEL - mnetzel@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

GENEVA TOWNSHIP —  Police officers and firefighters responded to calls of a loud explosion on New London Road on Sunday evening, blasts loud enough to rattle the windows of nearby homes, Geneva dispatch records show.

Residents began calling the Geneva police and fire departments at about 7:30 p.m., concerned about the loud noises.

“An Austin Road resident said the boom was so loud it rattled his house,” the dispatch record reads.

The dispatcher called the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department to advise them of the situation and learned that deputies and officers in south county were having a problem with hunters using “exploding targets.”

Exploding targets are sold in a two-part mixture. The components create “a very stable explosive,” for long-range shooting, according to www.gandermountain.com. The exploding targets are available online and are legal to purchase, ship and use, the website reveals.

A nearby resident told police officers that he saw two men with shotguns walking down a nearby driveway, the dispatch record shows.

Officers found the two men, who said they purchased the exploding targets from a sporting goods chain store. Though they were shooting the targets on their own property, the men apologized to the officers for the disturbance and left. No charges were filed, dispatch records show.

Officers stayed behind and spoke to residents who were concerned about the blasts, advising them of what the investigation had uncovered and that there were no major explosions, the dispatch record shows.