Misunderstanding leads to man’s arrest after 2 guns found in backpack

John Arakawa

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UPDATE: Man involved in Kapolei gun incident charged

The day was just getting started for businesses at Halekuai Center in Kapolei when workers say a handful of Honolulu Police officers swarmed the parking lot.

“At 8:45 a.m., I saw cops pulling rushing in to the lobby going upstairs to the Social Security office and that’s all I seen. And they told me somebody has a gun,” Tiffany’s Nails manager Brian Nguyen said.

Police were called to the Kapolei Hawaii Social Security Office on the second floor after a security guard discovered two handguns in the backpack of a 56-year-old Kapolei man during a routine bag check. John Arakawa was arrested without incident.

“It was an honest mistake,” said Lori Arakawa, the suspect’s wife.

She said her husband, who is disabled and on Social Security, left home early Wednesday morning to take care of business at the Social Security office.

“He texted my daughter saying that he’s going to catch the bus home and that he should be home by 9:30 a.m., saying he’s at the Social Security office, so she just thought I’d come and get him,” Lori Arakawa said.

When her daughter arrived, she was stunned to learn that her dad was in police custody.

“It was merely for protection and safety reasons for our family,” Lori Arakawa said.

Nguyen says although businesses were not affected and no one was ever in danger, he was concerned.

“It’s uncomfortable. It’s not really safe to carry a weapon on your body anyway around the public. It’s safer to just leave it at home,” Nguyen said.

“I’m very sorry. It was just a big mistake. I’m very sorry,” Lori Arakawa said.

Arakawa remains in police custody and the investigation is ongoing.

The Social Security office remained open during the incident.

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