Police: Man left a duffle bag on Waikiki street to intentionally scare people

Published On: Apr 26 2013 10:13:00 PM HST

It was the suspicious threat that blocked traffic for hours into Waikiki.  Police say a man left a duffle bag on the street to intentionally scare people.

Getting into Waikiki, on the busy Friday was nearly impossible. All because of a Nike gray duffle bag.  After someone reported it to police, they shut down the area, worried it could be an explosive device. People crowded around the blocked street, confused and scared.

"It was a little nerve racking, I was at Starbucks and I wasn't sure if the whole place was going to blow up," said Honolulu resident Jeremy Coleman.

Several people told police a man who looked alarming dropped the bag in front of the Cartier store at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. The SWAT team deployed as people were forced out of the center. The always busy Kalakaua Avenue, from Lewers Street to Royal Hawaiian Avenue, closed for hours.

"It was scary because I heard that there's a lot of those going on lately. It's been happening around the mainland and stuff so it's kind of freaky," said bystander Alison Bishop.

That's exactly why police were not taking any chances.

"In light of what's happening on the mainland and Boston and Waco and other areas. We are on high alert. We are treating everything like it's real," said Capt. Ryan Borges with the Honolulu Police Department.

The SWAT team sent in a robot. The X-rays showed the threat was a hoax, but police said the man behind the incident had vicious intentions.

"We arrested one male 29 years old just because of the behavior, and what he did. It was really suspicious, it wasn't a mistake, he actually intended to scare people, so we arrested him for terroristic threatening in the second degree," said Borges.

Inside the bag was just personal items; officers called it "junk." A couple hours later the caution tape came down, and the threat was cleared. There is video of the incident that investigators will be reviewing.


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