A Honolulu Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team used a device described by a witness as a flashbang, also known as a stun hand grenade, to force a distraught woman out of her rented Punchbowl area apartment on Thursday.
Emergency Medical Services responded to the 3:30 p.m. call and transported the 45-year-old woman to the hospital in serious condition. She received contusions and lacerations, Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright said.
A manager at the Leilehua Building at 112 South School St. said the woman was home alone, and was in distress and yelling when he called 911.
The woman refused to open her third-floor apartment door when patrol officers arrived so they requested a SWAT team.
The manager said a negotiator tried to talk to her, but after continuing to refuse to cooperate, officers used a flashbang, also known as a stun grenade, to gain entry into the apartment.
Stun hand grenades produce a blinding flash of light and an intensely loud bang.
A nearby resident reported hearing an explosion that set off car alarms in the Nuuanu area.
The manager said the flashbang had a loud booming sound when it went off. He said it disoriented the woman and made her compliant and calm.
He first heard someone crying out at 11 a.m., “I need help. Help.”
He checked the nearby stairwell and could not find anything, so he left the building. He returned after later receiving a call from the resident manager that she was yelling and that he needed to call 911.
The manager, who asked not to be named, said the woman was dealing with some personal issues.
Police briefly closed South School Street between Pali Highway and Lusitana Street due to the incident.