Aiea bomb was ordnance
grade, HPD says
A New Year's bomb that almost blew a hole in 11-year-old Cydnee Somera's hand was made with ordnance-grade explosives, according to Honolulu police detectives investigating the case.
Though police are not saying how the explosive was put together, they said those making the device could have easily blown themselves up while doing so.
"To make this was very dangerous for the makers themselves," said Detective Eric Yiu. "This takes some know-how."
Police have arrested two men and questioned a third involved in the explosion, which took place near 98-136 Kihale St. in Aiea at 12:15 a.m. Jan. 1. A 35-year-old male who lives in the house was arrested Friday, and a 34-year-old male who used to live in the house was arrested the next day. The third man who came in for questioning may be a witness in the case and is cooperating with police. All three men are related to each other.
The explosion damaged four vehicles parked nearby and permanently injured Somera, a bystander who has since had four operations and 11 pins inserted in her left hand, which she said she raised to cover her face when the bomb went off. Cydnee's left foot is also bandaged after doctors took a nerve from there and transplanted it in her hand.
Even so, the in-line hockey player said she's excited to go home this weekend and to soon start rehab so she can play again. And she's happy that police have arrested some of those responsible for her injuries.
"It's better than before," said Cydnee about her hand yesterday from a hospital room at Kaiser Medical Center. "I can hardly feel any pain."
She added, "I feel more relaxed that they caught the guys."
Cydnee's dad Sidney said that if his daughter feels better, he feels better as well. But he still wants to make sure that the case gets the attention it deserves, and that others learn their lesson when it comes to creating their own fireworks by lighting homemade bombs in residential neighborhoods.
"I want this showcased," he said yesterday at a news conference at Kaiser. "I'm not against fireworks; fireworks is not what injured my daughter."
"This was an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) ... It's a selfish way to act ... that's how I feel."
Police arrested the suspects on suspicion of first-degree reckless endangering and second-degree assault. However, detectives said the case could go for federal prosecution for possession of an unregistered destructive device, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
Whatever the penalties, it will not bring back what Cydnee has already lost, her mother, Tanya, said, including feeling in parts of her left hand and the foot from where doctors got the replacement nerve.
"This is going to be a lifetime thing for her," she said.