Police Charge Lifeguard With Possessing Smoke Grenade

The homemade devices were detonated on the beach at 36th Street in Ocean City on Tuesday.

An Ocean City Beach Patrol lifeguard was charged Wednesday with "possession of a prohibited device" after a co-worker tipped off police Tuesday about a homemade smoke grenade stored in a car parked at 36th Street and Central Avenue.

Zachary Kranefeld, 21, of Millville, was issued a summons Wednesday on charges of possessing the device and released.

The discovery of the grenade on Tuesday afternoon caused a brief spectacle as police blocked access to the roads nearby, and a bomb squad from Atlantic City detonated it on the beach as a precaution.

Kranefeld had reportedly learned to build the device on the Internet.

Ocean City police received the tip about 3 p.m. Tuesday (Aug. 6).  The Ocean City Police Department, Cape May County Prosecutors Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cape May County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit and Atlantic City Bomb Squad were called to assist with the investigation, according to Ocean City Police Capt. Steve Ang.

The investigators interviewed Kranefeld and searched his car on Tuesday before the the Atlantic City Bomb Squad secured the device. Investigators also searched houses in Millville and Strathmere where Kranefeld lived.

Kranefeld is a graduate of Millville High School and a full-time student Alfred University in New York. A former member of the Upper Township Beach Patrol, Kranefeld made the Ocean City Beach Patrol in 2012.

Possessing or using prohibited devices is a third- or fourth-degree crime in New Jersey — usually not punishable by jail time on first offenses.

It's not clear yet what job action will be taken against the city employee.
Pat Pawling August 08, 2013 at 08:43 AM
Planting evidence? That's strong stuff and not in line with anything I know about the OCPD - good people, in my book. If you have evidence, present it to the county or the state.
City Corruption August 08, 2013 at 12:10 PM
Sure present it to county or state ... They all work together.. You just keep on thinking they are good people!! You are probably related to one of them.. Don't worry as with many other cases in cape may county and other local police, sooner or later someone will catch them.. Ocean city are all snitches.. They will tell on themselves!
Pat Pawling August 08, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Yes, it's a conspiracy, Corruption. Everybody's in on it. Soon the little black drones will be circling your house, as the NSA listens in and taps your email. Ok, that part about the NSA might be true.
Sean Swift August 09, 2013 at 09:39 PM
Ocpd are not good people ...
Ken McC August 10, 2013 at 09:13 AM
Bunch of idiots. Ocpd aren't corrupt... A little lazy maybe but not corrupt.


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