A Florida International University student caused a commotion at graduation when police mistook an electronic display on his cap for an explosive device.
Can Cevik, a computer engineering graduate, said he was just trying to be festive earlier this week when he taped a battery-powered digital device to his graduation cap, displaying the message “FIU 2019." But he never thought it would cause widespread panic at the ceremony.
Cevik said he was stopped as he approached security at the school's Ocean Bank Convocation Center in West Miami-Dade on Monday, when police "assumed a small microcontroller was an explosive device at my graduation," according to a Tuesday Instagram post from the student.
"I was stopped by police for what they saw on my graduation cap; them assuming the worst, my cap and cellphone (temporarily) were seized as police were investigating what it was," Cevik said in a post showing off the cap. "All of a sudden, they closing doors and leading people away from the local vicinity."
According to Cevik, the university's police department held him aside for about 10 minutes while they examined his cap and cell phone. They eventually cleared him to enter the venue, but only after providing him with a new -- plain -- graduation cap.
Police then called the bomb squad and destroyed the original cap.
The device -- put together with colorful wire, clear tape and a 9-volt battery -- was created using an open-source micro-controller board called Arduino Uno, he said, noting that it cost about $20 to make. He also apologize for causing such a stir.
"Just to clear things up, my cap had an Arduino Uno with a 7-segment display on it and was powered by a 9V battery; it was not an explosive," he said. "Sorry @miamibeachpd I didn't mean to scare/hurt anyone! Had I known this would happen, I would've decorated my cap differently."
"I appreciate the work put in by the police to ensure everyone was safe as well as their continued work to keep the community safe," he added.
The police department did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment, but FIU Police Captain Delrish Moss told local reporters that officers acted out of an abundance of caution.
“While that seems very innocent and looks very innocent, it also has the potential to scare people,” Moss told local Fox affiliate WSVN. “A police officer spotted it and took the necessary precautions."