Historic

If You See Something, Say Something. Right?

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by Barrett Seaman – 

So this guy walks into the Irvington Police Station on a Sunday afternoon carrying a plastic bag with what appears to be a cannonball inside. The guy gives his name as Adam Stein. He says he was walking his dog on North Dutcher Street, where he found this cannonball. He surmises that Con Ed might have dug it up while doing recent street excavation, and he wonders whether it’s still “live.”

He now has the full attention of Sgt. Frank Pignatelli, who’s on the desk at the time. The sergeant, no doubt out of caution, suggests that Dr. Stein (a clinical psychologist) take the thing outside, away from the building. The cops consult. They summon the Westchester County Hazardous Devices Unit. They cordon off the whole area around North Ferris and Main Street and evacuate Town Hall. The cannonball is sitting out on the sidewalk. The fire department and IVAC are notified and put on standby. Hazardous Devices experts come to take it away. They later deem the object “non-explosive” but destroy it anyway.

The new week begins. Joel Ackerman, who resides at 17 North Dutcher Street, wonders what happened to the big iron ball he had been using to hold the top on his garbage can. It had been on the side of the house when he rented the place from owners Richard and Gail Weiler, who had done extensive renovation on the place after they bought it from Bill Palermo in 2015. Gail Weiler had found the piece in question in the back of the garage along with “several small one-piece metal barbells” suggesting that maybe it was part of a weightlifting set. Or maybe it was a Civil War cannonball. As Police Chief Michael Cerone put it, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

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