Summertime brings with it all sorts of pranks pulled by kids with too much time, but one of the oldest — the exploding mailbox — is one with serious consequences.
“It’s funny when the mailbox goes off,” said Lt. Ashley Harris with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, before adding, “but it’s not real fun when someone loses a finger, a hand or has to go to the hospital.
This week someone used what Harris believes was likely a bundled firework bomb to blow up a mailbox in a Spartanburg County neighborhood.
The blast was powerful enough to shred the wooden post and metal box, and it was so loud that it woke Patti Foy’s husband from his sleep.
“It was really amazingly loud,” said Foy who didn’t discover her obliterated mailbox until the following morning.
Deputies say they’ve seen a few of the explosions so far this summer, and Harris says he’s seen a lot of people lose fingers and other body parts from this sort of bomb.
In September of 2000, a homeowner (and former Inman mayor) fired a warning shot when two 13-year-olds kept returning to vandalize his mailbox which was attached to his home. A bullet struck one of the children in the face. The teenager survived, and the homeowner never faced charges under the state’s stand your ground laws.
In addition to local or state charges, people convicted of mailbox vandalism can face federal charges that carry prison time and hefty fines.