POSTED: 04:50 p.m. HST, Apr 17, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 06:46 p.m. HST, Apr 17, 2014
A 62-year-old Lihue man was arrested Tuesday afternoon 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.
Leonard Nadoza was arrested on suspicion of third degree assault.
The incident occurred at about 11 a.m. on March 30 when several Walmart customers reported a substance in the air that touched off trouble breathing, nausea, and pain in the eyes and throat. According to police, a total of 10 people fell ill as a result of the incident and several of the victims were hospitalized.
The Kauai Fire Department HAZMAT crew and a representative from the state Department of Health 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.
Subsequently, the fire department turned the investigation over police upon receiving information indicating that the incident may have been intentional. A police investigation found that a canister of mace had been set off near the entrance of the store.
Police arrested Nadoza in connection with the incident on Tuesday afternoon at a senior housing complex in Lihue.
On Thursday, Nadoza was released from police cell block after posting $1,000 bail. His initial court appearance has not yet been scheduled.