Graduation cap decoration mistaken for explosive device


WEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. — An engineering student at Florida International University caused quite a scene at his graduation, all because of his decorated cap.

“I thought I’d try something different, it wasn’t intended to be harmful in any way. This is a small, creative project that I just wanted to show off at graduation,” said FIU Graduate Can Cevik.

But it turned into a graduation ceremony he’ll never forget, all thanks to his custom graduation cap.

“I decorated it with an Arduino,” said Cevik. “Which is sort of a small computer you can program.”

The FIU computer engineering major used his coding kills to program that mini computer to spell out “FIU 2019”. But when he walked up to the Ocean Bank Convocation Center, campus cops thought he was trying to go out with a bang.

“He [told] me to put it on the floor and slowly back away from it,” said Cevik.

They also grabbed his phone and asked him to empty his pockets. FIU Police say the exposed wires and battery raised a few red flags. And, even though it was harmless, the officer at the entrance didn’t want to take any chances.

“While that seems very innocent and looks very innocent, it also has a potential to scare people. Police officers spotted it and took necessary precautions,” said Captain Delrish Moss with the FIU Police Department.

Luckily, it didn’t take long for police to figure it all out and the ceremony wasn’t delayed. Cevik was only held up for about 20 minutes and was able to walk as scheduled – although he did wear a replacement cap.

“I honestly think I was being a bit too naive. I probably should have seen that considering the current political climate we are in,” said Cevik.

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