Teen Arrested and Released in “Boom Box” Hoax on Mokuhau
By Wendy Osher
A 16-year-old Wailuku boy was arrested and later released to his foster family, after his mom found a suspicious device labeled “Boom Box” in his room on Wednesday afternoon.
The package, later determined to be a hoax improvised device, prompted an eight hour investigation, the evacuation of 21 homes, and the deployment of an Army Explosive Ordnance Detail team from Oahu.
The finding, made at around 12:50 p.m. on Wednesday, was reported by a 40-year-old woman living at 2275-B Mokuhau Road.
The woman told authorities that she found the black and silver box while packing clothes for her son, who was currently in foster care. The package measuring 6 x 6 x 2 inches was found within the boy’s closet with a piece of blue duct tape labeled “Boom Box” on the lid, said Maui Police Lt. Wayne Ibarra.
Upon opening the box, authorities say the woman observed electronics, wiring and other objects which she believed to be a homemade explosive device.
Police responding to the scene photographed the device and sent the image to the US Army EOD for review. After examination, the army unit determined the device was suspicious and decided to respond.
During the course of the investigation, police say they were informed of the whereabouts of the complainant’s juvenile son. Police located the teen at around 4:43 p.m. at a home in Wailuku, and placed him under arrested for alleged terroristic threatening in the first degree. Police say the boy was later released to his foster family per Family Court.
County police and rescue personnel began evacuating area homes located within 300 feet of the area shortly after 1:30 p.m. Official say a total of 36 residents were evacuated as crews closed off parts of Mokuhau Road.
During the investigation, an emergency shelter was established for displaced residents at the Wailuku Gym on Market Street until the all-clear was issued at around 8:50 p.m.
Police say the Army EOD personnel from the 74th Ordnance Company arrived at the Mokuhau residence at around 7:45 p.m.
Checks of the device found it to be a “hoax IED” (improvised explosive device) containing no explosive material, police said. The item was found to contain two “D” batteries with wiring and electronics, and was recovered as evidence.
Following the “all clear,” residents were allowed to return homes.