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Florida man found with live grenade, clown mannequin inside truck: video

Deputies in Florida found a live grenade in the truck of an “idiot” who was driving with a terrifying clown mannequin in the passenger seat, wild video shows.

The footage released Monday by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office shows the moment a deputy stumbled upon the explosive find after Louis Branson, 65, was pulled over in Bunnell for expired tags on his Dodge pickup.

“Oh shoot, is this for real?” a deputy asks her partners after discovering the grenade inside a sealed canister in the back of Branson’s ride, video shows. “Get out of the truck, it looked like a possible grenade.”

Branson told deputies he found the grenade three or four years ago while cleaning out a veteran’s home and decided to keep it.

He was unsure whether it was active, said Flagler County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Melissa Morreale.

“He thought it was cool, so he kept it in his toolbox and was driving around with a grenade for quite some time,” Morreale told The Post.

Sheriff Rick Staly blasted Louis Branson as an “idiot.”
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office

An explosive disposal team conducted an X-ray of the device, which was believed to be active based on its internal mechanisms. It was later safely detonated at a nearby facility, another clip shows.

Sheriff Rick Staly blasted Branson in a statement as an “idiot” who was lucky he didn’t kill himself or destroy his truck.

Along with the grenade, deputies found the life-size clown mannequin — as well as amounts of cocaine, marijuana and two pipes with suspected drug residue.

grenade
The grenade was later safely detonated elsewhere.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office

“I’m honestly not sure how the clown fit in,” Morreale said. “It looked pretty human-sized. It was crazy.”

Branson, who has an extensive criminal history in Florida and Georgia, also admitted to deputies that his license had been expired since 2019 and he needed to clear the matter up in Georgia. His last known address is Palatka, Florida, Morreale said.

He was charged with driving with an expired license, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of firearm, weapon or ammo by a convicted felon and drug counts.

clown grenade bust
Cops were also surprised to find a clown in the car.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office

Branson was ordered held on $7,000 bond, Staly said. It’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

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