Jacksonville man charged after explosion in backyard leaves him injured

A 31-year-old Jacksonville man is facing a felony charge after police said there was an explosion in the backyard of a home Saturday on Rugby Road in the Lake Forest Hills area.

William Union Jr. suffered injuries to his face, chest and hands from something that apparently blew up in his hands, according to his arrest report. The injuries were not life-threatening and Union was treated and released.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Karen Dukes said police were originally called to the scene shortly after 10:30 p.m. Saturday for a possible shooting. But Union told police at the hospital that he’d been hit by a car.

However, Dukes said Jacksonville Fire and Rescue personnel found metal fragments as first responders were treating Union, and JSO investigators found a large hole in the middle of Union’s backyard that “appeared to be as if something blew up or detonated on the ground with a round circle mark and a hole in the middle of it.”

JSO got a warrant to search Union’s home and found some kind of ammunition, according to the report. After Union was released from the hospital, he was arrested on a second-degree felony charge of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

Police said the Hazardous Material Unit, also known as the bomb squad, was called in to sort through physical evidence of the explosion.

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