In brief | Big Island briefs 082713


Man wanted in Utah may be on Big Island

A man wanted by police in Utah may be on the Big Island.

Police are looking for Jaycen Robert Munoz, 38, who was last known to live on Olu Street in Hilo. The Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake issued an extradition warrant for Munoz, who is charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old.

Munoz is described as Caucasian, 6 feet tall, weighing 150 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Malfunctioning pump leads to pool closure

A malfunctioning pump prompted the temporary closure of the Kohala Swimming Pool. Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation workers are analyzing the problem. Officials apologized for the inconvenience and said they expect the pool to reopen next week.

DUI arrests down 9.6% so far this year

Police arrested 28 motorists Aug. 18 through Sunday for alleged drunken driving. Seven of the drivers were involved in traffic crashes.

So far this year, there have been 820 DUI arrests compared with 907 during the same period last year, a 9.6 percent decrease.

There have been 878 major accidents so far this year compared with 948 during the same period last year, a 7.4 percent decrease. So far this year, there were 21 traffic fatalities on Hawaii Island compared with 24 during the same period last year, a 12.5 percent drop. To date, three fatalities were related to drugs only, one to alcohol only and four to a combination of both.

3 facing drug charges after vehicle stop

Police charged three people with drug offenses after stopping a vehicle that had been reported stolen in North Kohala last week.

Patrol officers stopped the car in Kapaau Thursday because an officer observed a seat belt violation. During the stop, police realized the vehicle had been reported stolen. Police also learned the driver and one of his two passengers were wanted on bench warrants.

All three occupants were arrested and taken to the Kona police cellblock for further investigation. During the course of the investigation, police found 6.4 grams of a crystalline substance and paraphernalia associated with methamphetamine use in the car.

Friday afternoon, Vice Section detectives charged the driver, Nakalohe Gersaba, 22, who has no permanent address, Rico Echiverri, 36, who also has no permanent address, and Zerica Bell-Ching, 24, of Kapaau, with promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia.

Gersaba was also charged with driving without a license, driving without insurance and failure to appear in court. His bail was set at $37,300. Police continue to investigate a possible charge against him for unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.

Echiverri was charged with contempt of court and violating probation. His bail was set at $135,000.

Bell-Ching’s bail was set at $7,000.

All three were held at the cellblock over the weekend pending their initial court appearance Monday.

By local sources