Pipe bomb found at Greenbelt Golf Course

Golfers play a round at Greenbelt Golf Course in Columbus, Ind., Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

Republic file photo

Columbus police are investigating the discovery of a pipe bomb at a local golf course over the weekend but believe there is no ongoing threat to the public.

At about 6 p.m. Sunday, a “third party” alerted the Columbus Police Department to the presence of a suspected pipe bomb at the Greenbelt Golf Course, at 1000 Gladstone Ave., CPD spokesman Lt. Matt Harris said.

The pipe bomb was located in a ditch on the golf course, though no further details about the explosive device’s location or images were available Monday.

CPD’s Hazardous Devices Unit responded to the scene and rendered the device safe, Harris said. Officers then conducted a foot search of the golf course and did not find any other devices. No explosive devices have been found in other areas of the city.

No injuries were reported, though the device could have been “very volatile,” Harris said.

“Anytime you’re dealing with pipe bombs and explosive devices, they can be very volatile,” Harris said. “There’s always the unknown.”

Currently, it is unclear whether Greenbelt Golf Course was being specifically targeted or what the motives behind the device were. Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop and Harris said they were unaware of any specific threats against Columbus Parks and Recreation.

According to the parks department website, Greenbelt has course hours during the winter that are “weather dependent.”

Columbus Parks and Recreation Director Mark Jones did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Lienhoop said the discovery of the explosive device was “alarming” but was grateful that it was found and disarmed before anyone was hurt.

Lienhoop said he had been told that the pipe bomb had some rust on it and may have “been out there for a while.”

“It’s kind of alarming to think that we would have an explosive device hidden somewhere on our park property or near park property, but until we learn a little bit more from the investigators, we don’t know whether it was originally intended to be there,” Lienhoop said. “I mean, it may have washed down with some flood water, so it may well have started someplace else. We just don’t know yet, but that would be concerning as well.”

Greenbelt has been targeted for vandalism in the past, Columbus Parks and Recreation officials previously told The Republic.

In 2018, the course’s maintenance facility was vandalized and broken into two or three times, which prompted city officials to install security systems at both course’s maintenance facilities.

CPD is urging anyone with information in regards to the explosive device is urged to contact the Columbus Police Department at 812-376-2600. Tips and information can be submitted anonymously.