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In Brief | Big Island & State | 4-16-14

April 16, 2014 - 8:00am

Police seek man wanted on warrants

Hawaii Island police are renewing their request for information about a 25-year-old man wanted on no-bail warrants and for questioning in connection with unrelated investigations.

Keahi Calvin Sale is 5 feet 7, weighing 155 pounds with brown eyes and black hair, according to the Hawaii Police Department. He has no permanent address but frequents the Hilo area. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked not to approach him but to call the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Pathologist: Taser did not play role in police custody death

The final results of an autopsy on the body of 39-year-old Randall Hatori of Kailua-Kona concluded that the cause of death was cardio-respiratory arrest because of the combined effects of high levels of methamphetamine in his blood, an enlarged heart and a physical struggle.

According to Dr. Lindsey Harle, the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy, the stress of these three factors likely caused a cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythm, that led to his death, according to the Hawaii Police Department. A Taser used by police to subdue Hatori did not play a role in his death, Harle said.

At 12:30 a.m. Feb. 4, a Kona patrol officer made a traffic stop at a gas station in a shopping center on Palani Road. The driver, 38-year-old Ernest Ricky Alvarez of Kailua-Kona, was arrested on a $10,000 bench warrant for contempt of court, according to police. Hatori, who was a passenger and was wanted for assault and violating temporary restraining orders, fled on foot, according to police.

The officer pursued Hatori on foot and a struggle ensued while he tried to apprehend him. Initially unable to restrain Hatori, the officer deployed his Taser in an attempt to subdue him. Hatori continued to actively resist arrest and the struggle continued. Other officers responded to the scene and assisted in restraining Hatori, according to police. After Hatori was placed in handcuffs, he became unresponsive.

Hawaii County Fire Department EMTs attempted resuscitation and then transported Hatori to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:53 a.m., according to police.

Detectives reported locating 7.3 grams of methamphetamine at the scene of the struggle, according to police.

Hilo charter school’s build plans hit snag

A hearing officer has advised the Hawaii County Planning Commission to deny a special permit to a Hilo charter school that wants to build a new campus.

Ted Hong, a lawyer for Connections New Century Public Charter School, told Stephens Media Hawaii he expects the county’s Windward Planning Commission will accept the recommendation and deny the permit at its May 1 meeting. The school will appeal that decision to the 3rd Circuit Court, he said.

The school wants to build a new school and dormitories on 70 acres of agricultural land it was given by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Plans for the school have been in the works since 2006.

The report by the hearing officer, Sandra Song, stated that at full build-out, the campus would need more water than it could access.

Hong disputed that finding.

“Every governmental agency, including the water department, took a look at this project and said it was fine. … It doesn’t take into account changes in technology, in regards to water usage,” Hong said. “It doesn’t take into account the fact this is one of the wettest areas around Hilo, and we could use it to, for instance, flush the toilets. That’s why I say this is going to go to the Circuit Court.”

Coast Guard searches for man who fell overboard

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard said a search has been launched for a 23-year-old crew member of a container ship who was reported overboard northeast of Oahu.

According to the Coast Guard, the male Japanese national had been on the ship Hercules Highway. He was last seen at about 7 p.m. Sunday.

The Coast Guard was notified shortly before 8:30 a.m. Monday that the man went overboard about 805 miles northeast of Oahu.

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew responded to the scene. The Coast Guard said the container ship has changed course and also is searching for the missing man.

Nonprofit groups allowed to join Kauai law defense

HONOLULU — A federal judge is allowing four nonprofit organizations to join Kauai County in defending a new law regulating pesticides and genetically modified crops in court.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren granted a motion to allow Ka Makani Hoopono, the Center for Food Safety, the Pesticide Action Network North America and the Surfrider Foundation to intervene.

Syngenta Seeds, DuPont Pioneer, Agrigenetics Inc., doing business as Dow Agrosciences, and BASF Plant Sciences are seeking a permanent injunction against the law.

Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff’s clients sought to join the case because they weren’t confident in the county’s defense. They allege the county administration doesn’t support the new law.

The Kauai County Council passed the ordinance over the veto of Mayor Bernard Carvalho, who called the measure flawed.

Gov. Abercrombie apologizes for Inouye statement

HONOLULU — Gov. Neil Abercrombie has apologized for his statements about Sen. Daniel Inouye’s dying wish to appoint Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to his seat in the U.S. Senate.

Abercrombie had cast doubt on the letter he received from Inouye asking him to appoint Hanabusa in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Inouye’s widow Irene Hirano Inouye told Hawaii News Now and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Monday that Abercrombie’s comments were hurtful.

Abercrombie apologized and said selecting Inouye’s successor was one of the toughest decisions of his career. He said in conversations with Inouye it was clear that Inouye preferred Hanabusa. But Abercrombie said Inouye also told him to make the decision that he thought was best for Hawaii.

Abercrombie appointed Sen. Brian Schatz, who is now in a close race with Hanabusa.

By local and wire sources