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For a second day in row, HPD’s bomb squad was called out to investigate a suspicious package.
Friday’s scare shut down Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, causing a traffic mess and forced the evacuation of Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.
Police gave the all clear around 5pm — more than three hours after finding the suspicious package.
It started off like any other day for skateboard shop Zumiez, a street-level store at Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.
But then, around 2:30pm …
“A couple cops came by and told us there was a suspicious bag right in front,” said Aric Cansino of Zumiez.
“So they’re like, yeah get everybody out,” said Nick Bette of Zumiez.
“At first I was like no way, it’s Hawaii,” said Cansino.
“Not everyone understood what we were saying so it was a little tricky,” said Bette.
All the businesses ewa of the food court had to close up shop indefinitely.
“We have a procedure that we need to evacuate the people in x amount of feet, so that’s what we did,” said HPD Captain Ryan Borges.
The suspicious package police were worried about was a backpack left in front of the Cartier store.
“Circumstances made us believe that it possibly was an explosive device based on the way the person was behaving,” said Borges.
“We saw the person whose bag it was, some shirtless guy,” said Bette.
28 year old Trenton Christenson was arrested for terroristic threatening, and was charged with the misdemeanor crime, with bail set at two thousand dollars. He has no local address.
“It didn’t seem like he was causing trouble. He was smiling the whole time,” said Bette.
Police shut down Kalakaua Avenue from Lewers to Royal Hawaiian, causing a traffic nightmare for drivers in Waikiki and all the way to Kakaako.
“You never know when it’s going to be real or not real. And we cannot make an assumption that it’s only a hoax,” said Borges.
HPD’s bomb squad was called to the scene.
“We saw the robot come out and try check the bag,” said Cansino.
The robot took x-ray pictures.
“And they saw that it wasn’t, possibly nothing, so they went over and opened it up with their bomb suit and it’s basically just a bunch of junk inside there,” said Borges.
“Looked like there was just clothes strewn all around,” said Bette.
After that, police gave the all-clear, and re-opened the roads, and let everyone back into the shopping center.
“It hurt not being able to be open those few hours. We had to actually stop people who were about to buy things and tell them to come back and haven’t really seen them again yet,” said Bette.
“But everytime they gotta take precaution so you never know what can happen,” said Cansino.
And that was also the message from police, they’d rather er on the side of caution.