Kauai police make arrest in Walmart evacuation

By Melvin Givens, Digital Editor, Digital Editor
Published On: Apr 17 2014 09:59:00 PM HST

Leonard Nadoza

LIHUE, Hawaii -

Kauai police have arrested a 62-year-old man in connection with a noxious odor complaint that forced a full evacuation of the Lihue Walmart in March and caused several customers to become ill.

Leonard Nadoza was arrested on suspicion of Third Degree Assault.

The incident occurred around 11 a.m. on Mar. 30 when several Walmart customers reported a substance in the air that was causing them to be sick.

According to police, a total of ten people fell ill as a result of the incident. Their symptoms included trouble breathing, nausea and pain in the eyes and throat. Several of the victims were hospitalized for their illnesses.

The Kauai Fire Department HAZMAT crew responded, but they were unable to determine the exact cause of the disturbance. The store was reopened about three hours later when it was deemed safe.

Fire crews later received information that led them to believe the odor was intentionally set. Upon further investigation by Kauai police, officers discovered that a male suspect had set off a canister of mace near the entrance of the store.

Detectives then identified Nadoza as the suspect. He was located and arrested Tuesday afternoon at a senior housing complex in Lihue.

Nadoza was released after posting $1,000 bail Thursday. His initial court appearance has not yet been scheduled.

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