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Death threats against ‘button pusher’ who triggered panic not referred to police

  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Gov. David Ige appeared Monday before news outlets to deliver an address regarding the false alert. “Death threats are completely unacceptable and not how we do things here,” he said.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency officials have yet to contact Honolulu police about “dozens of death threats by fax, telephone, social media” that its executive officer said were directed at the warning officer who triggered a bogus missile alert on Saturday.

This morning — four days after the false alert triggered widespread panic — the agency’s spokesman, Richard Rapoza, said, “As of right now, we have not made any formal police reports.”

Asked why, Rapoza said: “I don’t know, but as of right now we have not. We’re coming off the end of a long weekend. This is being handled in the midst of everything else.”

Rapoza said the agency’s chief of operations, Victor Gustafson, is preparing to contact HPD.

In a Monday night press conference carried live across the islands, Gov. David Ige referenced the threats in his remarks and said: “Death threats are completely unacceptable and not how we do things here.”

After the Star-Advertiser asked Ige’s office to comment on the lack of a police report over the threats, Rapoza issued a statement this afternoon that read:

“The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has received threats of physical harm, directed at its employees. While we take any threat to our workers seriously, we have also sought to avoid escalating the situation. We are in the process of collecting and cataloguing the threats, and will present them to the Honolulu Police Department shortly for formal action.

“Saturday’s false alarm encouraged many people to examine some aspects of their lives and values. We can all hope that those who feel that the best use of their time after such an event is to threaten the lives of others will reconsider their priorities.”

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