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Crapser to be tried in alleged hatchet robbery

January 31, 2014 - 9:51pm

Waving a 15-inch hatchet with a 7-inch blade above her head, 25-year-old Trinety Crapser demanded possession of a 47-year-old woman’s purple Corvette Sunday morning on South Point Road.

“She raises the hatchet and tells me to get away from my car,” victim Trudi Grentz testified Friday morning during a preliminary hearing for Crapser held in Kona. “I asked her what was wrong and she didn’t say anything. She told me again to get away (from my car). She had (the hatchet) up in the air.”

When Grentz asked her a second time what was wrong, Crapser allegedly gave no response.

“She’s waving it around and I’m not sure if she’s going to hit the car or me,” Grentz testified. “Then she lunged forward to swing at me with the hatchet.”

The preliminary hearing for Crapser, who is facing charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree attempted assault, third-degree assault, first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, and attempted unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle in connection with the Sunday incident, came to a close Friday with 3rd Circuit District Court Judge Andrew P. Wilson ruling prosecutors had presented enough evidence to transfer the charges to 3rd Circuit Court.

Crapser will enter her plea to the charges during a hearing slated for 11:30 a.m. Feb. 11 before 3rd Circuit Court Chief Judge Ronald Ibarra in Kealakekua.

Wilson also increased bail for Crapser to $72,000, to reflect bail amounts for the attempted assault and attempted unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle charges that prosecutors filed after police charged her Tuesday.

Grentz testified that before the attack around 9 a.m. Sunday she had parked her vehicle, but left it running, while placing eight signs along South Point Road to encourage visitors to a farm stand where she works, when a white car headed north on the roadway passed her. The white car, she said, then turned around and headed south on South Point Road before coming to a stop in the roadway near the front of her Corvette.

When the white car stopped, Grentz, who was less than a foot away from her vehicle, which had its convertible top open, looked to see if it was someone she knew or if the person needed help, but realized she had never seen Crapser before.

Grentz testified that Crapser got out of the passenger side of the car and walked around the back of her Corvette to the passenger side before raising the hatchet, making the demands and lunging at her.

“I was able to grab her arm,” Grentz said when asked if she was hit by the swing. “I stopped her from hitting me.”

Grentz said she then wrestled the weapon from Crapser and “threw it in the bushes on the other side of the road as far as I could.”

Then, Grentz testified, Crapser jumped over the Corvette’s door and into the driver’s seat. Crapser, however, was unable to take the vehicle because Grentz said she was able to lean over the window and shut the car off.

Grentz testified that Crapser bit her on her right arm and pulled her hair while the two struggled for possession of the car keys. Grentz then began screaming for help.

During the “few-minute” struggle, Grentz said a man exited from the passenger side of the white vehicle, and with his face covered approached the Corvette, reached into the passenger side and removed a large bag containing a laptop, cellphone, wallet and jewelry-making tools and supplies. The man then fled in the white car, heading southbound on South Point Road.

Though he tried to cover his face, Grentz said she got a good look at him and was able to later identify him as 23-year-old Kainoa Kahele-Bishop, of Ocean View, through police photos. She was also able to identify Crapser as her attacker through police photos.

“He must have forgot to (hide his face) when he was stealing my bag,” Grentz said.

While Grentz continued to struggle with Crapser after the man fled, she said another man came up yelling “break it up, break it up.” She said she then let go of Crapser and asked the unknown man to grab the keys. Her bosses then arrived at the scene and called 9-1-1.

“She then stands up on the seat saying she didn’t do anything, they can’t touch her,” Grentz testified, after telling the court Crapser had told the man who arrived on the scene that it was her vehicle and that Grentz had attacked her. Luckily, Grentz said, the man had seen Grentz working at the farm stand previously.

After calling 9-1-1, Grentz, her bosses and the man waited with Crapser for officers to arrive. Grentz said it took “a good hour” for officers to arrive and during that time Crapser fled.

“She gets up, goes over the rock wall and takes off,” Grentz said, adding Crapser waited about five minutes before fleeing into the bushes.

The Hawaii County Police Department said it responded shortly before 9:30 a.m. Sunday to the reported robbery. Police investigation subsequently led to the identity and arrest of Crapser on Monday and Kahele-Bishop on Thursday. According to police affidavits, Crapser told officers that Kahele-Bishop “made her do it.”

As of press time on Friday, charges had yet to be filed against Kahele-Bishop.

According to the affidavits filed by police, Crapser has a felony conviction from 2011 on her record. A check of records of the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center showed Crapser has pleaded guilty to five offenses: second-degree assault, a class C felony, in 2011; third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, in 2009; second-degree criminal trespassing, a petty misdemeanor and one count each misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor criminal contempt of court.