Lihue man arrested in connection with Walmart evacuation

Leonard Nadoza

A Lihue man was arrested Tuesday, April 15, in connection with a noxious odor complaint that forced a full evacuation of the Lihue Walmart last month and caused several customers to become ill.

Kauai police says Leonard Nadoza, 62, was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault.

The incident occurred at roughly 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 30 when several Walmart customers reported a substance in the air that was causing them to be sick. According to police, a total of 10 people fell ill as a result of the incident. Their symptoms included trouble breathing, nausea, and pain in the eyes and throat, and several of the victims were hospitalized for their illnesses.

The Kauai Fire Department HAZMAT crew and a representative from the State Department of Health initially responded to the scene and assisted in a full evacuation of the store, but they were unable to determine the exact cause of the disturbance.

The store was reopened roughly three hours later when it was deemed safe.

Following the incident, KFD received additional information that led them to believe that the incident may have been intentional and turned the case over to police.

Upon further investigation, police 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 Thursday after posting $1,000 bail.

His initial court appearance has not yet been scheduled.

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