Williamsburg police say a minor explosion reported on Feb. 16 on King Mountain Road, which leads to the 911 tower, is apparently just an act of vandalism and not anything more serious.
The explosion apparently happened about 5 p.m. on Feb. 16 and damaged a private gate that was across the road.
“We are assuming someone did that because they are upset that a gate was across the road,” said Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird.
Bird said the property is owned by someone in the Patrick family but he isn’t sure exactly who the current property owner is.
Bird said the owner apparently was upset about people going up on the mountain to drink and party so they put up a gate to keep vehicles from going all the way to the top.
Authorities believe that someone got upset over the gate, which is why they set off an explosion.
Police think that the suspects used a substance called Tannerite, which is a legal substance used in exploding rifle targets.
A neighbor told police that they heard two rifle shots followed by a loud explosion, and then spotted a blue Suzuki Jeep with two younger males inside that was leaving the area at a high rate of speed.
None of the explosive was left over for police to collect and process as evidence.
Bird said he contacted federal authorities, who informed him that it wouldn’t be a federal offense to use Tannerite in this manner.
The explosion was powerful enough to knock down the gate and cause minimal damage, but not enough to destroy it.
Bird said a gate across King Mountain Road is a good thing because the 911 tower is on top of the mountain in addition to some cell phone towers and there have been various acts of vandalism up there and cooper theft too.
However, he said property owners put the gate too far up the mountain for standard police cruisers to reach.
Bird said authorities would like the property owners to move the gate further down the mountain towards the entrance to the road or in the alternative to allow the city to place a gate on road to keep people out.
Williamsburg Police Capt. Eddie Cain is investigating the case, but Bird said authorities have no leads.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Williamsburg police at 549-6017.