Walking stick prompts evacuation in Ohio

Posted: 10/05/12 at 8:45 am EDT

AKRON, Ohio (NBC) -- It happens virtually every day somewhere in America: A suspicious object is found in a public building. The building is evacuated. The object turns out to be innocuous. Everybody goes back to work.

It happened Wednesday in Akron, Ohio, where City Hall was evacuated after someone spotted something that looked like it could be a pipe bomb. The Summit County Bomb Squad, Akron police, Akron fire crews and even the University of Akron's K-9 unit all responded and determined it wasn't a bomb. Police gave the all clear at 10 a.m. ET.

So why are we telling you about it? Read on.

Fox station WJW-TV of Cleveland reported that the item was a 4-foot-long aluminum stick with duct tape at both ends and the word "Kaboom" written across it.

It turns out "Kaboom" is a person, not a threat. According to WAKR radio of Akron:

"It was a homemade cane owned by James 'Natural' Kaboom — that's his legal name — 66, of North Hill. He'd forgotten it at a meeting."

Ohio state records show that Kaboom's full legal name is actually Natural Hunka Kaboom. The Akron Beacon Journal describes him as "a regular attendee at City Council meetings."

In a 2009 profile, the Falls News Press of Dalton, Ohio, quoted Kaboom as saying he was a street minister to the “blind, crippled and mentally ill.” "Kaboom," he said, was shortened from his Polish family name, Kaboomski.

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