APTOS -- Sheriff's deputies safely detonated a homemade incendiary device found Sunday afternoon beside a car in a dirt parking lot near the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park entrance.
Deputies received a call about a suspicious object in the lot about 3:20 p.m. and arrived to find an incendiary device consisting of household cleaning products contained in a 2-liter plastic soda bottle, Sgt. Esther Beckman said.
The object was on a slight hillside next to a parked car and had not detonated yet, so the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office Bomb Team truck was called in and its remotely operated "robot" imploded the device, Beckman said.
"Generally, kids make them; it's pretty common," she said.
They are dangerous, she added.
The car that was next to the incendiary device could have become a secondary explosion if the bottle detonated near it, Beckman said.
Deputies closed Aptos Creek Road and cordoned off the parking area, leaving some people stuck for about an hour. The road was reopened about 4:30 p.m.
Sheri Del Core was hiking in the park with her husband, Brian, when they returned to their car and deputies told them they couldn't drive it out until the Bomb Team was done, Del Core said.
She wasn't too broken up about it, saying there was nowhere they had to be.
"It's a beautiful day and a small bomb; what are you going to do?" she said. "We walked over and got some coffee."
Some people were
Another man in a black Volvo station wagon, with his young son, was waiting to get up the road to their home.
"Better safe than sorry," he said.
The area where the object was found is a short distance from Soquel Drive in Aptos Village, behind some businesses and next to Pump Track bike park. The park remained open and several youngsters were bouncing over dirt mounds as deputies worked nearby.
Deputy Dan Brierley said there are videos online showing how to make similar devices, which can burn hands and more.
He theorized that some young people had made one and brought it out to the lot to detonate it when something panicked them and they left it behind.