Monday | April 27, 2015
About Us | Contact | Subscribe

In Brief | Big Island & State | 1-4-13

Updated: 
January 3, 2014 - 10:52pm

Police investigating Kona armed robberies

Hawaii Island police are investigating two recent armed robberies in the Kona area.

The first robbery occurred Tuesday in the parking lot of a home improvement store at 73-5598 Olowalu St. in Kailua-Kona, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. Police responded about 2:18 a.m.

An 18-year-old Ocean View man and a 30-year-old Ocean View man told police they were in a parked white Ford F-150 pickup truck with Alaska license plates when a black Toyota Tacoma pulled up. The Tacoma’s passenger reportedly approached the victims with a handgun and something covering his face and ordered them out of the truck. The gunman and a second man searched the victims’ pockets and removed personal items, including a cellphone and an undisclosed amount of cash, according to police.

The gunman then drove away in the victims’ Ford and the other suspect followed in the Tacoma, according to police. Officers later located the trucks, both unoccupied, in an empty lot north of Hookena School in Captain Cook. Police determined the Tacoma had been reported as stolen from a home in Kona Palisades subdivision sometime between Dec. 23 and 24.

The second robbery occurred Wednesday in the parking lot of a store on Kamakaeha Avenue in Kailua-Kona, according to police who responded to the 2:22 a.m. report.

The victims, a 19-year-old Hilo man and two 18-year-old Hilo men, reported that they were in the parking lot when a dark gray Toyota Tundra pickup truck pulled up. The truck’s passenger got out of the Toyota with something concealing his face, approached them with a handgun and robbed them of a red backpack, personal identification, credit cards, cellphones and an undisclosed amount of cash, according to police.

He then fled on Makala Boulevard in the truck with the stolen items, according to police, who noted the victims recovered their cellphones, which were thrown out of the truck as it left the area.

The gunman was described as skinny and “local,” about 5 feet 8 inches tall. He spoke pidgin, according to police.

Anyone with information about the cases should call the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Man dies after lab explosion in Puna

A 30-year-old Keaau man injured last week in a butane honey oil lab explosion in Puna has died from his injuries.

The man, whose name is being withheld pending notification of his family, was pronounced dead at 5:20 p.m. Thursday at Straub Medical Center in Honolulu, according to the Hawaii County Police Department.

The blast occurred Dec. 28 on 17th Avenue in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision. Police found evidence of a lab used to manufacture butane honey oil at the scene. A 28-year-old woman, who was not home at the time of the explosion, was subsequently arrested and then released pending investigation.

Community members are asked to call the police department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311 if they know of any clandestine drug lab.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

High surf advisory for north-, east-facing shores

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a high surf advisory for the north- and east-facing shores of Hawaii Island through 6 p.m. today.

A series of north Pacific low-pressure systems has generated a combination of swells that will produce large and hazardous surf, according to forecasters. The mixed directions and surf heights will create chaotic and unpredictable surf conditions.

The service forecast waves ranging in height from 15 to 20 feet. The surf is expected to build quickly today, reaching dangerous levels by afternoon. The surf is expected to slowly decrease on Sunday.

The service categorized the surf’s impact as “moderate” and advise the public to expect strong breaking waves and strong rip currents that can make swimming dangerous and heed all advice given by ocean safety officials.

Two hikers rescued in forested Volcano area

The Hawaii County Fire Department on Thursday rescued two hikers who apparently became lost in a heavily forested area of Volcano.

Responding to the 3:01 p.m. report, fire rescue personnel located the missing hikers’ vehicle at a trail head located at the end of Ala Kapena Drive in Volcano. The hikers, identified as a couple, contacted the fire department via cellphone after becoming unfamiliar with the trail and terrain, according to the department.

Aerial and ground searches subsequently ensued using GPS coordinates provided by the hikers to locate them. The couple was located by Chopper 1; a ground crew assisted with extricating them to safety and flying them out of the forest.

No injuries were reported and all fire department personnel were back in quarters by 8:10 p.m., according to the department.

Badly decomposed body found in Kalapana

Hawaii Island police have initiated a coroner’s inquest case in connection with a body found in Kalapana.

At approximately 2:55 p.m. Thursday, police received a report from a 34-year-old man, who indicated he discovered a decomposing body while hiking in a forested area of a lava field at the end of Highway 130 in Kalapana, according to the Hawaii County Police Department.

Puna Patrol officers responded to the area and confirmed the discovery of a body.

The Area I Criminal Investigations Section recovered the remains, which were taken to the morgue at Hilo Medical Center, according to police. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The identity of the victim is unknown at this time, according to police.

Anyone with information about the case should contact Detective Todd Pataray at 961-2382 or tpataray@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Big Island police looking for wanted men

Hawaii Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating three men wanted on outstanding warrants.

Jack Toribio Casuga, 31, of Kailua-Kona is wanted on a no-bail warrant of arrest for violating parole, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. He is Filipino, 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.

William P. Holbron-Kealoha, 29, of Kailua-Kona is wanted on a bench warrant for failure to appear in court, according to police. He is Hawaiian, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 190 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.

Martin Frank Booth, 55, of Kawaihae is wanted on a warrant of arrest in connection with a grand jury indictment for second-degree assault, according to police. He is Caucasian, 6 feet 1 inch tall, weighing 230 pounds with hazel eyes and brown hair.

All three men are also wanted for questioning in unrelated cases. Police said they are considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of any of these men should call the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Levon Stevens at 326-4646, ext. 275, or lstevens@co.hawaii.hi.us, or Detective Walter Ah Mow at 326-4646, ext. 238, or wahmow@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawaiian Electric mulls wood pellets as fuel

HONOLULU — A Texas energy company is in preliminary discussions to supply compressed wood pellets to Hawaiian Electric Co.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday Zilkha Biomass Energy signed a “letter of intent” with the utility.

But a Hawaiian Electric spokesman described the discussions as preliminary. As with other new fuel sources, extensive testing would be needed before HECO could sign a contract to buy the fuel pellets.

Zilkha estimated Hawaiian Electric could save 30 percent or more on its fuel costs by burning wood pellets instead of fuel oil to generate electricity.

Zilkha CEO John Holmes said in a filing with the Public Utilities Commission that the company manufactures pellets from harvested trees at a plant in Texas.

Suit against dentist alleges negligence

HONOLULU — The parents of a 3-year-old girl who suffered massive brain damage have filed a lawsuit against a Kailua, Oahu, dentist, alleging negligence and dangerous conduct in sedating the child.

Ashley and Evan Boyle filed the lawsuit Monday against Lilly Geyer and unidentified staff members at Island Dentistry for Children, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday. The lawsuit seeks special and general damages.

The injured girl, Finley Boyle, was diagnosed with 10 cavities and in need of four root canals in her first dental exam, according to the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs said the child returned Dec. 3 and was given high doses of Demerol, hydroxyzine and chloral hydrate, as well as nitrous oxide. The girl has been unresponsive since then.

Geyer and her staff have not responded to requests from the newspaper for comment.

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Rick Fried Jr., said there’s no evidence all precautions were taken. He also said most of the dental work was unnecessary.

Geyer was issued a license to practice dentistry in the state in July 2005. As of last month, there were no records of complaints against her or her practice on file with the Hawaii Department Of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Boyle said her child would be healthy today if simple precautions had been taken.

By wire and local sources