Georgia Grenade Suspect Captured
TBILISI, Georgia, July 20, 2005
(CBS/AP) Georgian police detained the man suspected of
throwing a grenade at President Bush during his visit
to Georgia in May, the Interior Ministry said.
One police officer died and another was wounded
Wednesday during a shootout as Georgian security
forces attempted to capture the suspect.
The incident occurred Wednesday evening in a village
outside the capital Tbilisi. The suspect fled into the
woods, but was later captured, ministry spokesman
Guram Donadze told The Associated Press.
Rustavi-2 television showed pictures of a dark-haired
man it described as the suspect being hustled into a
car by police officers. It said he was wounded and
identified him as Vladimir Arutyunov, in his late 20s.
The man lived in an eight-story apartment building
with his mother, Rustavi-2 reported, citing neighbors
as saying Arutyunov was unemployed. The report could
not immediately be confirmed.
Authorities in Georgia on Monday released a photograph
of a man suspected of throwing the grenade, which
failed to explode, at a podium where Bush was speaking
to a crowd of thousands of people on May 10.
Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili announced a reward
of about $80,000 for information leading to the
identification of the dark-haired man in dark glasses
pictured in the photo.
The live grenade landed less than 100 feet from the
podium but did not explode. A preliminary
investigation indicated the activation device deployed
too slowly to hit the blasting cap hard enough, the
The FBI statement contradicted initial reports by
Georgian officials that the Soviet-era grenade was
found on the ground, was inactive and posed no danger
to Mr. Bush.
The FBI identified it as a live hand grenade, whereas
initial Georgian statements said it appeared to have
been an "engineering grenade," a device that is not
designed to spread shrapnel.
President Mikhail Saakashvili also was on the podium
when Mr. Bush spoke, raising the prospect that the
grenade could have been directed at him. Saakashvili,
who came to power after the 2003 Rose Revolution that
ousted Eduard Shevardnadze, has stirred enmity with
anti-corruption initiatives and insistence on
restoring control over two de-facto independent