HOUSTON - Residents in one Kingwood neighborhood were shocked to find a military-style rocket launcher sitting on a curb outside an apartment complex on Marina Drive.
Local 2 learned it was a Houston police officer who put it out by his driveway to be taken away with the trash. One of the officer's neighbors, Paul Pittman, said he watched as agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms swarm his apartment complex.
"You can tell when something's got military writing on it," said Pittman. "I was in the military and they did the same kind of printing on the M16's and M60's that I used to carry."
It was a familiar sight for Pittman, but not one he expected to see in a quiet suburban neighborhood.
When Jimmy Earl saw it laying out on a pile of boxes he made an emergency call, fearing for the safety of his neighbors.
"I called the ATF in Washington and from there they transferred me to the Houston bureau," said Earl.
After examining the launcher, ATF agents said it posed no threat because no explosive materials were inside. Agents said they had no legal reason to cite the owner, but they will be questioning him about how he got the rocket launcher.
Local 2 found the owner at home but he refused to talk.
ATF agents said they are waiting on the Army to decide whether or not they want the rocket launcher back. If not, ATF agents plan to destroy it.
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