By Jeff Mays and Tom Liddy
MANHATTAN - Cops evacuated an NYPD precinct stationhouse in Harlem Thursday afternoon after an apparent grenade was brought there, sources said.
Preliminary indications were that the device was brought to the stationhouse, at 520 W. 126th St., near Old Broadway as part of a gun buy-back program, according to the sources.
One man, who declined to be named said that a man found the device on the street in Brooklyn and brought it to St. Mary's Episcopal Church next door.
A staffer at the church urged him to turn the device in to the cops.
Outside the precinct stationhouse, officers placed the device under a coffee can, which they covered with a towel, according to the witness.
The bomb squad was called in, which used an X-ray machine to try to determine if it was live.
Not wanting to take any chances, the device was taken to the NYPD's firing range at Rodman's Neck in The Bronx.
There, it was determined to be inert.
"They wouldn't let anyone on the block," said the witness. "After a while, they put the grenade in the [police] truck and drove away."