Guys with the name Kaboom probably shouldn’t leave their aluminum walking sticks in government buildings. Especially with that name written all over it.
It can lead some to panic, as it did Wednesday morning at Akron City Hall.
Akron resident Natural Hunka Kaboom, 65, a regular at Akron City Council meetings, attended Monday’s session and left his metal walking stick outside the council chambers when he left.
The discovery of the rod on the building’s third floor Wednesday prompted an evacuation of City Hall for a short time.
The false alarm has made Kaboom a popular figure, as local media seized on his name and the uproar it caused temporarily.
“I never thought I’d make the news that way,” Kaboom said Wednesday afternoon outside his Uhler Avenue home in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood. “I never meant for this to happen.”
Kaboom said he had no idea of the evacuation until reporters contacted him. He said he talked to several officers Wednesday morning as he was walking to a bus stop to go shopping. They never mentioned the stick nor the evacuation.
“They were very nice, but they didn’t say a thing,” he said.
The “pipe” is actually an extendable shower rod used as a walking stick and owned by Kaboom, which is his real name. Court records show Kaboom legally changed his name in 2009 from James Louis Krosner.
Kaboom said he made the name change official three years ago, but he’s been using the moniker for years. It started as a way to promote his former pest control business, he said.
His homemade rod is about 4 feet long with duct tape on each end. His full name, “Natural Hunka Kaboom,” and other words were scrawled on the pipe, authorities said.
The stick’s discovery about 8:30 a.m., coupled with Kaboom’s explosive name, caused enough of a panic that dozens of workers were evacuated. Some at City Hall took the name on the rod as a threat.
Workers were sent outside on South High Street while a police dog searched the building for any explosives. The workers were allowed back into the building just before 10 a.m.
Stephanie York, a spokeswoman for Mayor Don Plusquellic, said the pipe was on the third floor, which houses the City Council chambers, the council clerk’s office and general offices.
Kaboom said he had to check the stick outside the council to pass through security before Monday’s meeting. He failed to retrieve the rod when he left, and apparently it remained there until it was noticed Wednesday.
Kaboom now has purchased a wooden rod to craft a new walking stick. Police have his metal rod. Kaboom already was planning a run for a council seat next year. He hopes voters will remember him.
“I guess this is a way to get my name out there,” he joked.
Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.