The Refugio Police Department was notified and arrived at the scene around 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 3.
The Corpus Christi Police Department’s Bomb Squad responded about 8:40 p.m. to assist.
“When it comes to public safety, that’s not everything, it’s the only thing,” Police Chief Andy Lopez Jr. said.
Police and the Refugio Volunteer Fire Department evacuated the area and access was blocked for safety.
“We did it textbook style,” Lopez said.
“People have entrusted us to do the right thing. You can never do too much when it comes to public safety,” he added.
Lopez said the shopping center as well as a block back were evacuated and cordoned off.
Lopez contacted the Corpus Christi Police Department Bomb Squad.
“We wanted to contact people who had expertise in the field. The bomb squad was the only one I know that is close by,” he said.
“To avoid any kind of panic, we told people it would be in their best interest to evacuate,” he added.
After checking out the bomb, the bomb squad personnel told local law enforcement and fire department personnel to move back farther from the scene.
Bomb squad personnel recovered the bomb and took it with them to Corpus Christi.
“They have to actually check the devise to see if it is active,” Lopez said.
So far, Lopez said the bomb appears to be a “practice rocket round.”
“If it were to go off, it could severely injure people,” he said.
“We are still waiting for an official report from the bomb squad,” he said.
The preliminary assessment was that it was inactive.
Refugio County Chief Appraiser Connie Arnold Raymond, whose office is in the Refugio Shopping Center, said a man who had permission to use the dumpster discovered the bomb at about 5 p.m.
By 9:18 p.m., the area was cleared and the bomb was transported to Corpus Christi.
“The Refugio County Volunteer Fire Department is to be thanked. Chief Don Pullin was professional and receptive to anything we wanted to do. He was ‘Johnny-on-the-spot,’” Lopez said.
“We coordinated well to resolve the situation, and we took the necessary precautions for public safety,” he added.
Lopez also credited the bomb squad for its help.
“Thank God and the Corpus Christi Police Department Bomb Squad for their resources,” he said.
“The bomb squad got there expeditiously and expediently. They were able to make us feel at ease again,” he said.
He also complimented the Refugio County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher for coordinating with dispatching during the situation.
He said there are still questions that need to be answered: How did the bomb get there in the dumpster? Who put it there? And why?
“This was not responsible. There are proper ways to dispose of these things,” he said.
He said people can call the Refugio Police Department, and it can arrange for disposal of rockets or ordnance.
“We are going to actively investigate to try and find out who put it there,” Lopez said.
More information will be posted as it is received.
Read more: mySouTex.com - Bomb Scare in Refugio