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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 15, 2010

Would-be flier had stun gun

By Jim Dooley

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser


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Hiroki Suzuki packed a 750,000-volt "Muscle Man" stun gun in his luggage when he traveled to Hawai'i from Tokyo earlier this month.

Suzuki won't be taking the weapon home with him.

The tourist was stopped by Transportation Security Administration personnel at Honolulu International Airport yesterday morning when he tried to board a flight to Tokyo with the device allegedly in his carry-on bag.

"This was a great catch," Honolulu FBI Special Agent Tom Simon said. "The TSA and bag screeners are to be commended."

Suzuki, 29, was charged with attempting to carry a concealed dangerous weapon aboard an aircraft.

Personal possession of an electric stun gun is illegal in Hawai'i and at least six other states and the District of Columbia. They are available for purchase over the Internet but cannot be shipped to states or localities where they are outlawed.

The devices send painful high-voltage charges into muscles and can incapacitate a person for several minutes.

Suzuki said he purchased the "Muscle Man" about a year ago in Japan for personal protection.

The device was in his checked luggage when he flew here but was in a carry-on bag when he tried to board All Nippon Airways Flight 1051 yesterday morning.

"The stun gun was carried within Suzuki's carry-on baggage, concealed within a small black canvas pouch," FBI Special Agent Barry Vaughn said in a criminal complaint filed yesterday afternoon in federal court.

Suzuki appeared in federal court yesterday and U.S. Magistrate-Judge Leslie Kobayashi found probable cause to believe that a crime had been committed.

Suzuki told federal officials that he wants to return to Japan to attend his grandfather's funeral.

Kobayashi said Suzuki will be allowed to attend the funeral but must return here for his next court appearance May 28.

Kobayashi required Suzuki to post a $25,000 signature bond, which would be forfeited if he fails to appear.