Akron, OH – If you see something, say something. That’s the mantra that has been drilled into the American population to keep public places safe. Every day, all over the country, strange objects are sighted, reported, investigated, and proven innocuous. That’s what happened at Akron’s City Hall on Wednesday when someone spotted “something that looked like it could be a pipe bomb.” NBC News reports that the Summit County Bomb Squad, Akron police and fire crews, and even the University of Akron’s K-9 unit all responded to the scene and evacuated the building.
The PVC pipe was wrapped with duct tape and had the words “natural kaboom” written down the side. Police told AkronNewsNow, however, that the pipe was no bomb. It was a homemade cane left by a 66-year-old man who’d attended a meeting at City Hall earlier in the day. His name, as is happens, is James “Natural” Kaboom. He’d merely written his name on his cane so it could be identified if lost. Lost it was, although the identification part ended up involving the evacuation of an entire government building.
Kaboom was not home when Fox 8 News tried to speak with him, but he reportedly spoke with police. Apparently, Kaboom used the pipe as “his walking stick, left it at council when he was at a council meeting Monday night and he forgot about it,” said Lt. Rick Edwards with the Akron Police Department. About an hour after the initial scare, police gave the all clear and employees returned to work.
Fox 8 News reports, “Police said they are convinced the 66-year-old Kaboom never meant to intentionally scare anybody, but investigators said it was still better to be safe than sorry.”
Although authorities are investigating the situation further, no arrests have been made.