Photography Is Not a Crime – Lawyer Threatens Me Over Today’s #WordlessWednesday Picture

Well once again I’m getting threatened by an attorney for something that seems ridiculous and I will ask this question now… Is taking photographs of cars and the signs that are on them illegal?

Earlier today, as I do on many Wednesdays, I posted a post entitled: “Wordless Wednesday – I Lost My Implants…” where I simply stated:  “I saw this truck parked at Island Naturals in Pahoa on the Big Island yesterday:” and then posted a picture of a truck that I saw parked at Island Naturals in Pahoa.

This afternoon I received an email from Honolulu Law firm WILLIAM J. NAGLE III, ESQ., Roeca Luria & Hiraoka LLP stating:

Mr. Tucker:

This firm represents Dr. ***********  in the matter of the photograph of the sign displayed on your blog dated 1/29/14.  We request that the photograph be removed from your blog (damontucker.com) as the contents of the sign are offensive to our client.  Because your blog is widely read on the Big Island, the photograph of the sign has disappointed and upset Dr. *********.
Mahalo for your kokua in this matter.

Well I don’t know what I should do really and feel that I have every right to post pictures I take in public.  I was just posting an observation I saw and really wasn’t making any statement other then it was “Wordless” in a sense.

I’ve left the blog post up… but have now removed the Doctors name from the picture.

IS PHOTOGRAPHY A CRIME?  Here is the incriminating photograph… minus the doctors name:

Dr. Who?

Dr. Who?

Captain Cook Man Busted Again – This Time for Stealing Pickup Truck

A Captain Cook man has been charged with numerous offenses stemming from the investigation of a stolen pickup truck.

On October 21, police responded to a report that a 2011 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck had been stolen while it was parked along Māmalahoa Highway in Captain Cook.

Joshua Watan (Before)

Joshua Watan (Before)

Police investigation led to the recovery of the stolen truck from a parking lot in Kealakekua on January 3. Police executed a search warrant on the truck and recovered 8 grams of crystal methamphetamine, a glass pipe with residue, and a loaded handgun. Further investigation led to the identity of the person who had control of the truck.

On Tuesday (January 7), police arrested 32-year-old Joshua Watan of Captain Cook. He was taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives continued the investigation.

Joshua Watan (Now)

Joshua Watan (Now)

On Thursday (January 9), he was charged with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, theft, meth trafficking, promoting a dangerous drug, drug paraphernalia, five firearm offenses, four counts of violating release on bail and first-degree terroristic threatening for making a threat to a law enforcement officer while in custody. His bail was set at $184,000. He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Friday (January 9).

Big Island Police Charge 55-Year-Old Man in Connection with a Harassment By Stalking Incident

A 55-year-old Kamuela man has been charged with eight offenses in connection with a harassment by stalking incident last week.

John Amina

John Amina

Tuesday afternoon (December 24), John Amina was charged with first-degree criminal property damage, first-degree terroristic threatening, harassment by stalking, second-degree reckless endangering, reckless driving, promoting a dangerous drug, possessing drug paraphernalia and driving without a license.

He was released from the Kona police cellblock after posting $14,750 bail on Wednesday (December 25).

 

UH Coach Norm Chow Victim of Hoax Job Offer

The Daily Breeze has reported that University of Hawaii Head Football Coach Norm Chow was recently the victim of a hoax job offer:

Norm Chow

A 32-year-old Hollywood man who allegedly made prank phone calls to well-known athletic coaches, leading them to believe they were being offered jobs with professional and college teams, was charged today with a felony count of eavesdropping.

Kenneth Edward Tarr is expected to be arraigned Dec. 30…

…According to prosecutors, Tarr called coaches or other officials from NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball and college programs and claimed to be representing other teams, gauging their interest in another coaching position.

Among the victims were University of Hawaii head football coach Norm Chow, Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, NBC News reported…

Full story here: Prankster who hoaxed top NFL, NBA coaches charged with eavesdropping

Tyson and Kyson – Father and Son Arrested and Charged After Being Stopped in Stolen Car

A Hilo man and his son have been arrested and charged with assorted offenses after being stopped in a stolen car.

On December 9, a home on Kupukupu Street in Hilo was broken into and several items were stolen, including keys to a sports-utility vehicle, which also was taken.

Kyson Dameron

Kyson Dameron

Wednesday afternoon (December 11), police officers stopped the stolen SUV on Highway 11. The driver, 37-year-old Tyson Prim, and his son, 18-year-old Kyson Dameron, both of Hilo, were arrested and taken to the Hilo police cellblock, while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

Tyson Prim

Tyson Prim

On Thursday, detectives released Dameron pending further investigation.

Immediately upon his release, South Hilo patrol officers arrested Dameron again on suspicion of fraudulent use of a credit card in an unrelated case. The card, along with jewelry and cash, had been taken during a burglary in the Waiākea area on December 2. The stolen card had been used at various Hilo businesses 15 times between the time of the burglary and Dameron’s arrest.

Friday morning, detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section charged Prim with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle. His bail was set at $10,000. He made his initial court appearance Friday afternoon.

Later Friday, South Hilo Patrol officers charged Dameron with first-degree burglary, 16 counts of theft, eight counts of forgery, 15 counts of fraudulent use of a credit card and 15 counts of identity theft. He was also charged with two additional counts of first-degree burglary for break-ins in Waiākea on December 4 and December 10, during which a laptop, jewelry and cash were stolen.

Dameron’s bail was set at $106,750. He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday.

 

Gun Threat at UH Hilo Was a Hoax – Man Arrested for False Reporting

Hawaiʻi Island police have determined that a report of a gun threat Monday at a college campus in Hilo was unfounded.

Louis H. Bartlow

Louis H. Bartlow

The terroristic threatening case has been closed and the man who reported it, 25-year-old Louis H. Bartlow of Kalapana, has been charged with a crime.

On Monday morning, Bartlow, who claimed to be an employee of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, reported that he had been accosted on campus by a man with a firearm.

Investigation by detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section revealed that the incident did not occur and that Bartlow is not a university employee.

At 12:30 p.m. Thursday (December 12) police arrested Bartlow and charged him with false reporting to law enforcement authorities, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. His bail was set at $500. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Friday (December 13).

Senator Brian Schatz on Ted Cruz All Night Grandstanding Effort on Senate Floor – “He Recklessly Wasted Valuable Time…”

Brian Schatz

Aloha –

They’ve really done it this time: Ted Cruz spent all night grandstanding on the Senate floor in an effort to abolish President Obama’s landmark healthcare legislation. He recklessly wasted valuable time holding up real debate and votes on the budget, bringing us even closer to a potential government shutdown.

Cruz’s threats are real – if we don’t pass a budget in the next few days, the government will shut down. Cruz and his Tea Party colleagues would rather send employees home without pay, send the economy into a tailspin, and delay essential public services than fund Obamacare.

We need to show Ted Cruz and his allies that strong progressives like you and me are willing to fight for better health care for middle-class families.

Obamacare is already providing better health care coverage at lower costs for millions of Americans — and it will work even better when the new health care exchanges open on October 1.

But extremists in the House and Senate — led by Texas tea party Senator Ted Cruz — want to kick millions of people off of their health plans, make seniors pay more for essential medications, and end preventive screenings for Medicare recipients.

That’s why my campaign for U.S. Senate is more important than ever. I’ve always stood up for — and will continue leading the fight for — Obamacare, Social Security, and other vital programs that support Hawaii families.

Seeing these values threatened last night and this morning — and seeing how Cruz and his allies are willing to recklessly waste valuable time to grandstand against the health of everyday families — makes me even more motivated to keep fighting for middle-class values.

I’ve got to stay in the Senate to stop people like Ted Cruz and his right-wing corporate cronies from taking away Obamacare.

We can’t let them him get away with this.

Aloha,

Brian Schatz
U.S. Senator 

 

Domestic Dispute Between Father and Son in Puna Leads to Man Pointing Rifle at Police

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a domestic dispute that sent a 24-year-old Mountain View man to the hospital for treatment of injuries.

HPDBadgePuna patrol officers responded to Keola Place in Mountain View at 8:30 p.m. Monday (September 2) for an affray between a father and his adult son. When officers arrived, the son ran into the forest. He came out at 11 p.m. with substantial bodily injuries and was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was treated and released. After his release, police arrested him on two unrelated bench warrants for contempt of court.

At 7:09 a.m. Tuesday (September 3), while police were at the scene securing the scene, the father, Jonathan P. Rodrigues Sr., emerged from the house and pointed what appeared to be a rifle at police officers.

Police later recovered an air rifle.

Rodrigues was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault for the domestic incident and first-degree terroristic threatening for the incident with the weapon. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Juvenile Aid Section continue the investigation.

 

Big Island Police Arrest Man After Two Attempted Robberies in Hilo

Hawaiʻi Island Police have arrested a man in possession of a car that was used in two attempted robberies in Hilo on Wednesday.

Kris Villasista

Kris Villasista

At about 11:40 a.m., a man armed with what appeared to be a firearm attempted to rob the cashier at a gas station on Kaumana Drive. He left without getting any cash. The cashier was not injured.

Approximately 20 minutes later, the same person attempted to rob an employee at a recycling center off Waiānuenue Avenue but again was unsuccessful. The employee was not injured.

The suspect fled in a white Suzuki Samarai that had previously been reported stolen.

At approximately 3:20 p.m., while conducting checks in the Honomū area, officers located the car at a Honomū residence. Kris Villasista, 37, of Honomū was arresting for unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle. He was taken to the Hilo Police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

 

Carjacking Suspect Jumps in Bushes Near Mauna Kea Access Road

Hawaiʻi Island police have set up a roadblock at the entrance to Mauna Kea Access Road off the Saddle Road and are limiting access to Mauna Kea Access Road. The road is closed to the public until further notice while police search for a suspect in a carjacking.

Mauna Kea Access Road

Mauna Kea Access Road

The car stolen in the carjacking incident has been located off the Mauna Kea Access Road. The suspect, 31-year-old Todd Rios (corrected age),was seen fleeing into the brush. Police are searching the area with help from a county helicopter crew.

Jeremy Todd Rios

Jeremy Todd Rios

Police caution the public not to pick up hitchhikers on Saddle Road.

Rios is described as 5-foot-7, 170 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes and numerous tattoos, including one on his throat/neck area depicting brass knuckles. He may be in possession of a firearm.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency 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.

“Al Capone” Arrested on the Big Island for Wednesday’s Carjacking Incident

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged the man arrested in connection with a carjacking Wednesday night (July 17).

Alkapone

Alkapone Cruz-Balles

Alkapone Cruz-Balles, 19, who has no permanent address, was charged at 4:25 p.m. Friday (July 19) with first-degree robbery and unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.

He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock in lieu of $12,000 bail pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday (July 22).

 

Home Invasion Robbery in Puna Foiled by Woman With Meat Cleaver and Pork & Beans

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a home invasion robbery Friday night (July 12) in Puna.

In response to a 9:37 p.m. call, Puna Patrol officers learned that three masked men had encountered a male resident outside a home on 30th Avenue in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision. One man reportedly assaulted the resident and another man reportedly entered the house and assaulted a woman trying to protect a child. As the woman fought back, the masked men grabbed a purse and a backpack and fled in a pickup truck.

Dustin J. Jose

Dustin J. Jose

Responding officers located a truck matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle and arrested 31-year-old Dustin J. Jose of Kailua-Kona and 31-year-old Jack A. Vaughn of Kailua-Kona.

Jack A. Vaughn

Jack A. Vaughn

They were taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 9:05 p.m. Saturday (July 13), after conferring with prosecutors, detectives charged Jose with first-degree burglary, second-degree robbery and second-degree assault. They charged Vaughn with first-degree burglary, second-degree robbery and two counts of third-degree assault.

The men remained at the cellblock until their initial court appearance on Monday.

According to Hawaii News Now:

Three masked men stormed into a Big Island home on Friday night and attacked a family in a Keaau home. Two of the suspects are now in custody, and a can of pork and beans helped lead to the home invasion arrests.

“All of a sudden I see these three guys climbing out of the truck and they all had ski masks on,” recalled victim Claudine Prados.

Prados had been watching TV at her home on 30th Avenue in Hawaiian Paradise Park. She said she protected her son from one suspect by grabbing a meat cleaver from the kitchen, but two other men attacked his father.

“They injured him pretty badly. They slammed his face into the ground and they were trying to choke him and doing whatever they could to try to get him to pass our I guess,” said Prados.

Prados said she grabbed a can of pork and beans after the cleaver was knocked out of her hand. After a struggle, the men drove off.

“I still had the can of food in my hand and I was actually trying to bust their window but it ended up bouncing off and landing in the back of their truck. That’s one of the main things that actually police was able to identify the truck when they actually pulled it over,” Prados said.

Within 30 minutes, police found a truck matching the description she gave them on Kuauli Road in Kurtistown. Officers found the can in the back and arrested two men, Jack Vaughn of Kailua-Kona and Dustin Jose of Kealakekua. Jose was indicted in May for allegedly sexually assaulting two minors, according to the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Officers arrested both men for assault, burglary and robbery.

“It was like a total waste of time for them, honestly, because all they left with was a purse with no money and a kid’s backpack with clothes,” said Prados…

More Here: Can of Pork and Beans Leads to Arrest

 

Two Big Island Men Charged in Slaughter of Calf

Police have charged two Paʻauilo men in connection with the theft of a calf over the weekend in the Hāmākua District.

On Sunday (June 30) at about 11:30 a.m., police were contacted by a 54- year-old Honokaʻa resident, who reported that while checking his pasture land on private property, he discovered two individuals on the property and in possession of a firearm, along with a portion of a calf carcass that had recently been slaughtered.

The remaining carcass was recovered by police and was identified by its owner.

Lonnie James

Lonnie James Knutson

Later that afternoon, police arrested 22-year-old Lonnie James Knutson and 25-year-old Jason James Williams. They were taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

Jason James Williams

Jason James Williams

At 5 p.m. Monday (July 1), after conferring with prosecutors, detectives charged Knutson and Williams with one count each of livestock theft, a class C felony. Their bail was set at $2,000 each. Both men are scheduled to make their initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon (July 2).

Big Island Police Warning Public About Recent Company Selling Magazines Door to Door

Hawai´i Island police are warning the public about a recent company selling magazines door to door.

HPDBadge

The salesperson says that they are selling the magazines to benefit a local high school or get points for college or for cancer research.

The individual obtain personal information from the buyers and uses this information fraudulently and the magazine(s) that the buyers order never arrives.

Some of the names the company have been using are, Frontline Communications, LLC; HP Consulting and MD Network. They originated in the State of Colorado where they have been fined for 1 million dollars.

If you have encountered these individuals and need to make a police report please call the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 935-3311.

 

Hawaii Participates in Multi-State, Multi-National Case Against Deceptive Travel Promoters

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Office of Consumer Protection announced Thursday that it joined in a multi-state, multi-national law enforcement initiative, coordinated by the Federal Trade Commission, to combat deceptive travel promoters.

statelogo

The state wants consumers to be alert to unscrupulous promoters tricking consumers into purchasing deeply discounted or “free” vacation packages or future travel-related products or services supposedly worth thousands of dollars.

However, most consumers are required to attend lengthy high-pressure sales presentations and often receive nothing of value after paying thousands of dollars in fees.

Thursday’s announcement coincides with the announcement of more than 80 civil enforcement actions by the FTC and 28 states; more than 58 criminal prosecutions brought by U.S. attorneys nationwide and local law enforcement agencies; and 24 enforcement actions by international law enforcement agencies in eight countries.  

Travel Scams
To protect themselves against deceptive travel offers, Bruce Kim, Executive Director of the Office of Consumer Protection, advises consumers look out for these warning signs:

  • You “won a free vacation,” but you have to pay some fees first.
  • The prize company wants your credit card number.
  • They cold-call, cold-text, or email you out of the blue.
    • Before you do business with any company you do not know, call the Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the company’s home state to check for complaints; then search online for consumer complaints.
  • They do not — or cannot — give you specifics.
  • You get pressure to sign up for a travel club for great deals on future vacations.
  • You get a robocall about it.
    • Robocalls from companies are illegal if you have not given a company written permission to call you, even if you have not signed up for the national Do Not Call Registry.

“Before signing anything, check the company out with the BBB or the DCCA for consumer complaints against the company.  You should ask to see the company’s written cancellation policy and ask a lot of questions, including that they put all their promises in writing before you agree to anything,” Kim said.

Consumers are also advised to consider making travel arrangements through licensed travel agents.  They will provide more protection from scams, and they earn their commissions through the business that consumers patronize, not the individual consumer.

If anyone believes he or she has been a victim of deceptive sales practices, please contact the DCCA’s Consumer Resource Center at 587-4272 and file a complaint.

Visit FTC.gov/travel to learn more about travel scams.

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Office of Consumer Protection is responsible for reviewing, investigating and prosecuting allegations of unfair or deceptive trade practices in consumer transactions.  It has jurisdiction over a wide range of businesses and commercial activities.

 

Puna Man Arrested for Multiple Offenses Including Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged a 27-year-old former resident of Pāhoa with several offenses stemming from incidents that occurred in the Puna District last weekend.

Phillip Jon Richardson

Phillip Jon Richardson

On May 4, at 8:05 pm, Phillip Jon Richardson, who has no permanent address, was arrested at a home on 18th Avenue in Hawaiian Paradise Park. The 28-year-old female victim reported that as she was dropping off a relative at the residence, the suspect opened her car door, identified himself as a police officer and demanding the car keys. The victim said that the suspect grabbed her and was forcibly trying to pull her out of the vehicle in an attempt to take the vehicle. During the confrontation, another relative in the same vehicle used his cell phone to call 911. However, the suspect removed the phone from the 76-year-old victim before he could complete the call.

The 28-year-old victim managed to call a 29-year-old man on her cell phone to ask for assistance. As he arrived at the property, the suspect then attempted to enter the 29-year-old man’s vehicle. When he was unable to do so, the suspect reached into the vehicle, grabbing the victim’s arm and attempted to open the vehicle’s door. The suspect reportedly left the scene in a pickup truck.

A short time later, police received a report of a pickup truck ramming into a house on 17th Avenue, causing damage to the wooden structure. A 36-year-old female occupant of the residence told police that the male driver exited the truck and was seen entering her house through a window. As police arrived in the area, the pickup truck was observed fleeing the scene. The suspect abandoned the truck and fled on foot into the bushes. The victim discovered that a safe had been stolen from the house and a parked vehicle on the property had been entered with items removed.

During the investigation, police also received a report from a 63-year-old man from 1st Avenue, who informed police that while in his house, a pickup truck pulled into his property and the male suspect forced his way into the victim’s home and removed a computer before fleeing the area.

No one was seriously injured during these crimes.

Richardson was being held in the police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 7 p.m. Monday (May 6), after conferring with prosecutors, detectives charged Richardson with two counts of second-degree attempted robbery, one count of phone ripping, one count of impersonating a law enforcement officer, two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, one count of fourth-degree criminal property damage and one count of resisting an order to stop. Richardson’s bail was set at $83,000. He was scheduled to make his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon (May 7).

Big Island Police Investigating Puna Road Rage Incident

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle case stemming from a road rage incident in Puna on Monday (April 29).

HPDBadgeAfter a traffic dispute around 6:45 p.m., the driver of a blue Honda sedan hurled objects at the victim’s car and forced it onto the shoulder of Highway 130 near the 4-mile marker. The suspect then reached into the victim’s vehicle and assaulted him.

The victim was driving a Champagne colored Honda sedan and heading toward Pāhoa.

Anyone who witnessed this incident or who has any information about this case is asked to call Officer Jenny Lee at 965-2716 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

 

DLNR Seeks Tips From Public On Theft of Solar Panels & Other Items at MacKenzie State Park

Comfort station will be closed indefinitely until replacements, security measures are in place

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is seeking tips from the public that may help enforcement officers identify persons who stole solar panels and other items from MacKenzie State Recreation Area in Puna district this past weekend.

mckenzie

DLNR’s Division of State Parks has been conducting ongoing improvements at MacKenzie State Recreation Area since early this year that include a new composting comfort station and parking area near the camping sites and road repairs and improvements. Park improvements were to be completed this month.

Unfortunately, this past weekend (April 27-28), the new comfort station sustained property damage and theft of the newly installed solar panels and electrical equipment to operate the composting toilets. As a result, the new comfort station will be closed indefinitely to ensure the completion of repairs and installation of replacements, and security improvements are made.

Some of the items that were stolen are part of a sewage containment system and not of much value to those that have taken them because of the specialized nature of the parts.

It is not yet known how long it will take to find replacement parts and components of the stolen and damaged facilities.

Hawaii County Police Department and DLNR DOCARE enforcement officers are investigating. Estimates on the value of items stolen are pending. Anyone with information about the theft of items is asked to call the DOCARE branch office in Hilo at (808) 974-6208.

MacKenzie State Recreation Area, covering 13.1 acres, is located on Kalapana-Kapono Beach Road (Highway 137), 9 miles northeast of Kaimu. It is a low-cliffed, wild volcanic coastline with picnicking and tent camping in an ironwood grove and known for good shore fishing. An old Hawaiian coastal trail traverses the park. The park has restrooms, camping area, trash cans, but no water and is open daily during daylight hours. There is no entrance fee.

Hawaii State Senate Statement Regarding House Bill 622 – (Journalism Shield Law)

capital

“Passing the amendment without consulting with the other chamber affirmatively kills the bill.  The draft that was passed out of conference in the form of HB622, HD1, SD1, CD1 continued the additional protections of a shield law above and beyond what is provided by Hawaii’s constitution for the press.

The floor amendment presented a very substantive change to the conference draft that was agreed upon by the House and Senate conferees. Every draft of the bill up until that point sought to make the shield law permanent.  To introduce such a substantive change, moments before the Senate began its floor session, lacked the transparency and openness that the public expects and deserves. “

-Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria

 

A Bad Day at the Pahoa Post Office – Car Goes Postal!

A bad day at the “Post” Office:

Post Office Truck 1

The owner of this truck thought he was in reverse… but he was actually in drive!

Post Office Truck 2

This accident happened about 1:30 this afternoon blocking off the access to the Pahoa Post Office from Main Government Road.Post Office Truck 3

It didn’t look like anyone was injured and the guy just seemed a bit embarrassed!Post Office Truck 4