Pāhoa District Park Project Groundbreaking to Be Held July 31

A public groundbreaking ceremony for the Pāhoa District Park project will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 31, at the park.

Pahoa Park Rendering

Join Mayor Billy Kenoi, County Council members Greggor Ilagan and Zendo Kern, Parks Director Clayton Honma, and other dignitaries as they signify the start of the biggest recreational project in Hawai‘i County history. The $22.3 million, yearlong construction project will more than double the size of Pāhoa Park and deliver increased recreational opportunities to one of Hawai‘i Island’s fastest-growing communities.

Refreshments and light pupu will be served.

Contractor Nan, Inc. is scheduled to start clearing and grading the site on August 4. During the following 12 months, it will construct a covered play court building, two lighted baseball fields, two multipurpose fields, one of which will be lighted for nighttime use, a keiki playground, concession building, new comfort station, accessible walkways, and ample parking areas.

Totaling more than 29 acres, the improvements will complement the park’s existing 15 acres of developed recreational facilities that include a 50-meter swimming pool, community center, senior center, and skate park.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Big Island Police Charge Puna Man With 13 Offenses in Connection to Kidnapping

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged a 38-year-old Puna man with 13 offenses in connection with a kidnapping that led to a police pursuit and an attempt to run down two officers.

Riley Asuncion

Riley Asuncion

At 10:50 a.m. Wednesday (July 23), Riley Asuncion of Pāhoa was charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of third-degree assault, and one count each of kidnapping, terroristic threatening, unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, fourth-degree theft, driving without a license, reckless driving and resisting an order to stop. His bail was set at $1,521,000. He remains in the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Thursday (July 24).

Investigation by the Area I Criminal Investigations Section determined that Asuncion illegally entered the sports-utility vehicle of a 30-year-old female acquaintance Monday morning without her knowledge. As the woman was driving on Kīlauea Avenue in Downtown Hilo, he surprised her from the back seat, assaulted her and gained control of the SUV. The woman was able to escape from the vehicle on Kinoʻole Avenue near Haihi Street.

Police responding to an 11:26 a.m. report of an apparent domestic incident in a pink SUV located the vehicle in the Panaʻewa area. The driver swerved in an attempt to ram a police vehicle and then fled to Stainback Highway, turned around on a side road and drove toward two officers, who had exited their police vehicles. In response, three shots were fired toward the SUV, which then continued down Stainback Highway. It stopped a short distance later and the suspect fled into the bushes.

Asuncion surrendered and was taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment. Detectives determined that he was struck by one of the rounds, which caused a superficial wound to his torso. Asuncion was released from the hospital early Monday evening and taken to the Hilo police cellblock shortly before 7 p.m. while detectives continued the investigation.

As is standard practice in any police involved shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section is conducting a criminal investigation into the shooting and the Office of Professional Standards is conducting an administrative investigation. The two officers involved are on desk duty during the investigation. One is a six-year veteran police officer and the other has been an officer for approximately a year.

Pahoa Man Arrested for Attempted Murder and Other Offenses

A 32-year-old Puna man has been arrested on a Grand Jury indictment for attempted murder and other offenses.

Gilbert H. Waiau

Gilbert H. Waiau

Gilbert H. Waiau of Pāhoa was arrested Monday morning (July 21) on the strength of a bench warrant following a Grand Jury indictment charging him with attempted second-degree murder, attempted first-degree assault, attempted second-degree assault, first-degree terroristic threatening and second-degree criminal property damage. His bail was set at $85,000. He was held at the Hilo police cellblock pending a court appearance Tuesday.

The charges stem from an incident on April 30, 2013. Puna Patrol officers responded to a report of a possible domestic dispute on the roadway. Officers responded to Kahakai Boulevard at Puni Mauka Loop, where a 23-year-old woman reported that Waiau had followed her in his car and tried to run her off the road, then intentionally hit her car with his. When she got out of her car, he reportedly attempted to ram her with his car.

The case was routed to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney and then presented to a Grand Jury.

Big Island Police Investigating Puna Home Invasion and Robbery

Puna Patrol officers responded to a 2:30 a.m. report Tuesday (July 8) of a robbery at a home in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision.

HPDBadgeAn unknown man whose face was obscured with fabric entered a house on 1st Avenue off Maku‘u Street, brandished what appeared to be a firearm and threatened the 80-year-old male occupant. He then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The suspect is described as Caucasian, 6-foot-2, 140 pounds with brown eyes and a long, thin face. He was wearing baggy brown pants and a short-sleeved multi-color shirt.

Police ask anyone with information about this case or the identity of the suspect to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Royce Serrao at 961-2272 or rpserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 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.

Big Island Police Investigating Puna Robbery

Hawaii Island police are investigating a robbery Saturday in Puna.
HPDBadgeAt 10:23 p.m. Saturday (July 5), Puna Patrol officers responded to a home on the 15-0600 block of Kahakai Boulevard in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision.

A 36-year-old man reported that while an acquaintance and two other local males were in his house, they took his computer hard drive and mobile phone. When he asked for the items back, he was struck numerous times in the face, causing minor injuries.

The victim was able to get away from the suspects and call police. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries and released.

Police ask anyone who has any information about this case or the identity of the suspects to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2378 or wcarter@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 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.

Big Island Police Investigating Stun Guns Recovered From Maku’u Farmers Market

Hawaiʻi Island police recovered two electronic stun devices from a vendor at the Makuʻu Farmers Market on Sunday morning (June 29) and have initiated a criminal investigation into violations of laws specific to electric guns, possession and sale.

HPDBadgeDevices that were recovered had the appearance of a cellular phone. Police received additional information that other devices previously displayed had the appearance of a Maglight type flashlight.

Police remind the public that the possession, sale, gift or delivery of electric guns/devices is illegal under section 134-16 of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes and is a misdemeanor offense. The definition of an “electric gun” means any portable device that is electrically operated to project a missile or electromotive force. Persons who may have purchased such a device are advised to destroy the item or turn it in to the nearest police station for recovery and destruction.

Use of an electronic gun on another person (by anyone other than a law enforcement officer in the lawful course of duties) would fall under the assault section of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes.

Police ask anyone with information about other vendors selling similar devices to report this to the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 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.

Big Island Police Investigating Puna Shooting

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a reported shooting over the weekend in the Puna District.
Eden RocAt about 11:07 a.m. Saturday (June 28), police received a call of an in-progress threat incident in the Eden Roc subdivision in Mountain View involving a man brandishing a machete.

Responding officers arriving on 6th Street discovered the 30-year-old male victim with apparent gunshot wounds after he stopped his tow truck to inform police what happened. The victim was taken to Hilo Medical Center in serious condition and has since been released. He was subsequently arrested for unrelated warrants and remains in the police cellblock.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section are continuing the investigation, which is classified as a second-degree attempted murder.

Detectives do not have a suspect in custody but are looking for a local male known as “Dennis,” who is described as between 40 and 50 years old, with short salt-and-pepper hair and a mustache. He was last seen wearing jeans shorts.

Police ask that anyone with information about this incident or anyone who may have witnessed it contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 or deuyetake@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective John Rodrigues Jr. at 961-8222 or jrodrigues@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 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.

Puna Couple Busted for Growing Large Quantities of Marijuana

A Puna man and woman are in police custody after police recovered large quantities of marijuana at their home in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision.
SONY DSC
At 11:55 a.m. Friday (June 19) Vice Section officers served a search warrant at a home on the 15-1900 block of 31st Avenue. They recovered 674 marijuana plants ranging in height from 6 inches to 4 feet, 80 clones, and 6.94 pounds of dried marijuana.

Police arrested 62-year-old Cyra Kalama-Lopez at the scene. She was taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives continued the investigation. Several hours later, her husband, David Lopez, turned himself in at the Hilo police station. Both remain at the cellblock pending further investigation into possible charges of commercial promotion of marijuana.

Big Island Police Reclassify Womans Death Three Years Ago to Murder

Police have reclassified a death that occurred three year ago from a coroner’s inquest case to a murder.

On September 20, 2011, police were called to a Wainaku residence for a report of a woman found lifeless in the laundry room area of the home.

Sommer Ferreira

Sommer Ferreira

Upon arrival, police discovered the body of 20-year-old Sommer Ferreira. An initial inquiry was conducted into the cause of her death. Based on the circumstances at the time of the incident, no foul play was suspected.

After receiving recent information about the death, detectives reopened the case and conducted further investigation. A suspect has been identified, and the case has been routed to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney for further review and disposition.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing Pahoa Man

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 49-year-old Pāhoa man who was reported missing.

Yuriy Shvydkova

Yuriy Shvydkova

Yuriy Shvydkova is described as 6-feet tall and 300 pounds, with medium-length partially gray hair, brown eyes and a fair complexion. He may be operating a 2005 White Nissan Sentra.

He was last seen in Nanawale early on the morning of Monday, June 9.

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 the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 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.

Puna Man Charged After Shots Fired Inside Home Next to Womans Head

A Puna man has been charged with several offenses in connection with the discharge of a firearm in his home.

On Tuesday (June 10), Puna Patrol officers responded to a 4:32 p.m. “drop 911″ call. When they arrived at the home on Orchid Drive in the Ainaloa subdivision, they made contact with a 50-year-old woman, who reported that her husband had brandished a .22-calliber rifle and fired shots next to her head while she was lying in bed.

Leighton Kaai Jr.

Leighton Kaai Jr.

Police arrested 48-year-old Leighton Kaai Jr. and took him to the Hilo police cellblock pending further investigation by the Juvenile Aid Section, which investigates domestic abuse cases.

At 11:45 a.m. Thursday (June 12) detectives charged Kai with first-degree reckless endangering, first-degree terroristic threatening and two firearms offenses. His bail was set at $6,000. He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Friday (June 13).

“Puna Round Table – Ready To Learn” 10th Annual School Supplies Distribution

Children pre-school to 12th grade are invited to bring their parents, tutus or guardians to receive free basic school supplies at the 10th Annual School Supplies Distribution on June 28, 8:30am to 11:30am at Maku’u Farmers Market and St. Theresa Parish Hall in Mt. View.

School SuppliesAdults need to be accompanied by a child. School supplies are given on a first come, first served basis till supplies last.

POLL – Hawaii County Council District 5

Who will you vote for the Hawaii County Council District 5 Race?

POLL – Hawaii County Council District 4

Hawaii County Council District 4 Poll:

Video Proof of Compliance Checks Happening in Puna – Officer Lied in Today’s Paper

In today’s Hawaii Tribune article entitled “Puna Residents Sue to Get Pot Back” Police Capt. Robert Wagner is quoted as saying that the police here on the Big Island don’t do compliance checks.

Compliance Check

The bold statement is a lie!

…Both Snow and Ruggles said no arrests or police reports were made and no receipts were given for the plants. A check by the Tribune-Herald of the police’s June 14, 2012 incident bulletin contained no mention of either alleged incident.

Ruggles’ suit also asks for a court order “directing the Hawaii County Police Department to cease the activity known as ‘compliance checks.’”

“We don’t do compliance checks; I’ve never heard of a compliance check,” said Capt. Robert Wagner, commander of Hilo Criminal Investigation Division, which includes the vice section. He said the state Narcotics Enforcement Division is in charge of medical marijuana compliance and enforcement.

“We don’t even have a record of who has medical marijuana cards and who does not,” he said. He said if police serve warrants on suspected marijuana growers or dealers, they check first with NED to see if any medical marijuana licenses are assigned to the property.

Wagner confirmed there were marijuana eradication sweeps conducted by NED in Puna on June 14, 2012, and plants were confiscated in Fern Acres…

Here is a video of an August 14, 2013 raid on Mr. Ruggles Fern Acres Property doing a compliance check:

As you can see in the video… it appears that in the back of the truck they have a few plants of their own from another raid that happened (2:08 mark in the video above)

Two Men Charged in Connection With Puna Break-In

Two men have been charged with burglary in connection with a Puna break-in on May 21.

Jewelry and electronic items were stolen during the burglary at a house on Ihope Road in Mountain View. Tips from the public helped police solve the case.

Ethan Bailey

Ethan Bailey

On June 2, police arrested 24-year-old Ethan Bailey of Mountain View. He was taken to the Hilo police cellblock and charged on June 4 with first-degree burglary, second-degree theft and third-degree theft. He was released after posting $36,000 bail.

Ronald Altura

Ronald Altura

On June 6, police arrested 23-year-old Ronald Altura Jr. of Hilo with first-degree burglary. His bail was set at $5,000. He was held at the cellblock until his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday (June 9).

Big Island Police Searching for Men Involved in Puna Home Invasion

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a home invasion early Monday morning (June 1) in Puna.

Shortly after 3 a.m., officers responded to a report of a home invasion on Ala Heiau Road in the lower part of the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision after receiving a report that two men, one armed and both wearing masks, had entered a house and confronted the occupants.

Composite Sketch

Composite Sketch

Police learned that a 68-year-old man and his 70-year-old wife had been at home at when the two suspects entered the residence through an unlocked door and started to remove items from a bedroom. One of the suspects struck and threatened the male victim.

The suspects then left from the rear of the house with electronic items.

Composite Sketch

Composite Sketch

This case is classified as first-degree burglary, first-degree terroristic threatening and third-degree assault.

Police ask anyone with information on this case or anyone who recognizes the suspects from these composite drawings to contact Detective Grant Todd by phone at 961-2385 or by email at gtodd@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 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.

Hawaii Volcanoes Lava Flow Update – Flow Remains Active

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remains active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, which began just over a year ago, remains active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Activity on the flow seems to have diminished slightly over the past two weeks, following deflation at the summit. Today, the flow front (in the foreground) was at 8.8 km (5.5 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, but the front had stalled with active breakouts present a short distance behind the flow front. The farthest active breakouts, at about 8.4 km (5.2 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, can be spotted by the small smoke plume just behind the flow front. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen in the distance in the left portion of the photograph.

On the left, a normal photograph shows the front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. On the right, a thermal image shows a similar angle but in the infrared. Warm, but inactive, portions of the flow are shown by the purple and red colors, while the white and yellow areas shows active breakouts. As the thermal image shows, the flow front was inactive today, with the farthest active breakouts (also visible by the smoke plume) present several hundred meters (yards) behind the flow front.
A closer view of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow front. The leading tip of the flow, inactive today, is in the upper right portion of the photograph. The small smoke plume is caused by active breakouts on the flow margin.

Top: Another look at the margin of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. Small vegetation fires triggered by the active lava spread a short distance out from the flow margin. Bottom: A near-vertical look at the margin of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. Numerous trees surrounded by the slowly moving pāhoehoe lava were burned through at their base, causing them to eventually fall over onto the flow itself. In many cases, by the time the tree falls over, the lava crust is no longer hot enough to ignite the wood, leaving a relatively intact tree resting on the flow surface. These fallen trees can make mapping the flow margin on foot very difficult.

A lone time-lapse camera, perched on a mound of solidified lava spatter, withstands thick volcanic fume and brutal weather to provide a record of lava pond activity in the northeast portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. This spot is also the vent area for the Kahaualeʻa 2 lava flow.

Lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater remains active

The lava lake remains active in the Overlook crater, which is nested within the larger Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The Overlook crater today was filled with thick fume, making visual observations of the lava lake difficult.

Another view of the Overlook crater, comparing the visual photograph with a thermal image taken from a similar position. The thermal camera can “see” through thick fume, providing an unobstructed view of the crater and lava lake. The thermal image clearly shows the inner ledge along the south wall of the Overlook crater, with the active lake surface well below the level of the ledge.

Wordless Wednesday – Backseat Barn

As seen at Paul’s Gas Station in Pahoa a few minutes ago:

I asked the guy what his goats name was and he said something like Ganji!

I asked the guy what his goats name was and he said something like Ganji!

Man Whose House Was Set on Fire Last Week… Announces Run for Governor

Last week the infamous “House of Cards” in Seaview here on the Big Island was burned to the ground in what the Big Island Police have described as an arson.

The "House of Cards" in Seaview

The “House of Cards” in Seaview

The house was owned by Charlie Collins and he could be seen walking around today’s Pahoa Spirit Day parade talking to anybody that would talk or listen to him.

Candidate for Governor Charles Collins and County Council Candidate Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Candidate for Governor Charles Collins and County Council Candidate Tiffany Edwards Hunt

He walked up to me and he said are you with the media or are you just taking pictures… well I really didn’t want to be bombarded by him at the time and I just told him I was taking pictures.

He was talking to folks and handing out literature to anyone that would listen to him announcing his run for Hawaii State Governor.

I’m not sure what platform he’s running on or what political party.  District 5 County Council Candidate RJ Hampton did say that he was a good friend of hers.

Charles Collins and RJ Hampton

Charles Collins and RJ Hampton

Look out Abercrombie… you got competition!