LIHUE — Val Villanueva was enjoying coffee inside the Walmart store with his three friends Monday afternoon when their talk-story session was interrupted.
Kauai police responded to a disorderly conduct report at Walmart involving a disgruntled customer and a screwdriver.
“I don’t know what happened,” Villanueva said. “There was this guy who was yelling something about Walmart owing him some money.”
According to a county release, a 49-year-old male with no known address was attempting to return an item at the store’s customer service counter near the store’s entrance about 2 p.m. when be became upset during the transaction and began yelling.
He then pulled out a screwdriver which belonged to him and held it up to his neck.
According to witnesses, the man did not threaten to harm anyone during the incident.
“When he got the screwdriver, they vacated everyone from the store,” Villanueva said. “That’s when we saw they had 11 vehicles responding, including a fire truck and an ambulance.”
Villanueva said customers were told to leave the store, but the store’s employees were evacuated to the parking area closest to Kuhio Highway.
“I guess that’s where the employees are supposed to go when they evacuate the store,” Villanueva said. “Us? They just told us to leave the store.”
Patrol officers and crisis negotiators responded and detained the male subject. He was transported by police to Wilcox Memorial Hospital for evaluation.
No arrests have been made at this time. However, the suspect faces disorderly conduct charges.
The incident remains under police investigation, and the store was re-opened at about 3 p.m.