N.J. residents find missile launcher on front lawn

The Jersey Journal

JERSEY CITY, N.J. Jersey City Heights residents say they found a missile launcher in a front yard this morning, but officials have not released any information on the incident yet.

"You don’t have to be a soldier to recognize what that thing was," said Joe Quinn, who lives next door to where the device was found on Nelson Avenue. "I went over and looked and I thought 'Oh my God.' It thought it was a bazooka."

Quinn said it had what looked like a shoulder strap and an image of a man on one knee with the weapon on his shoulder.

Niranjana Desai said she walked out of her home near Irving Street at 8:20 a.m. and saw the device in her small front yard.

"I was walking out and I saw it and there was a man nearby and saw a man and asked him 'Is that yours,' and he said 'No,'" said Desai, who has lived there for seven years. “I was afraid, I thought, 'What is that'"

Quinn said that after seeing the device he got a neighbor who is a police detective and he came over, took a look and called it in.

"His reaction was the same as mine, a little shocked," said Quinn. "You don’t see that every day."

Quinn said a police cruiser rolled up and then detectives arrived. Eventually an officer picked up the device, put it in the trunk of a police car and drove it away.

The neighbor said police asked him if he saw anything unusual.

"I didn't, I wish I had," Quinn said.

According to one press report, the incident is now being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI did not immediately reply to an email seeking information on whether the device was a real weapon and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and explosives did not respond to a phone call seeking the same information.

Jersey City police would provide no information on the incident.

Copyright 2007 New Jersey On-Line LLC

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