Friday, January 8, 1999

Three students
arrested over
explosion at school

By Jaymes K. Song


Three students were arrested in connection with Wednesday's explosion at James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach, which injured 10 other students.

The boys, two 15-year-olds and a 17-year-old, were arrested yesterday at the school following an investigation, according to a report filed by Honolulu Police post-blast investigator James Kawakami.

Principal Louis Vierra said the boys have been disciplined by the school, but would not comment on what actions were taken, citing confidentiality rules.

A homemade "sparkler bomb" exploded in a stairwell of the school's math/science building shortly after noon Wednesday.

Vierra says there have been at least six explosions on the 2,300-student campus since classes started Monday.

"As a parent, it scares me to death," said the school's Parent Teacher Student Association president, Cynthia Pinick. "It's frightening."

Police bomb technicians went to the school about 8 a.m. Wednesday and recovered a similar bomb in the possession of some students, who said they found it on campus.

Yesterday, the students and staff were evacuated from the building and waited uncomfortably in the sun for more than an hour on the football field while police bomb experts and bomb-sniffing dogs scoured the school.

"Basically, we needed it because of the possible threat," said Vierra, who requested the search. "We will do what needs to be done."

This morning, over the school's public-address system, he thanked the students for their patience and cooperation.

The three suspects arrested yesterday were booked for first-degree criminal property damage and prohibited use of explosives.

Kawakami said the boys have no prior criminal record.

They were released to their parents pending further investigation.

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