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Big Island Police Seeking Information About Robbery at Hot Ponds – Victims Threatened With Machete

Hawaiʻi Island police are seeking information about a reported robbery at a Puna park in July.

 ‘Āhalanui Park Hot Ponds

‘Āhalanui Park Hot Ponds

A 51-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman were reportedly approached by three unidentified men at 2 a.m. on July 28 at the pavilion of Ahalanui Park, also called “Hot Pond.”

After demanding the victims’ wallets, one of the suspects got into a physical altercation with the male victim. Another suspect then reportedly threatened the victim with a machete. The suspects fled with cash and the victim’s cell phone.

Police ask anyone with information about this case to contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2871 or wcarter@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Health Department “Heated Pond DOES NOT Have Unsafe Levels of Bacteria”

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation will reopen ‘Āhalanui Park after verifying that the park’s volcanically heated pond does not have unsafe levels of bacteria.

‘Āhalanui Park will reopen Friday morning

‘Āhalanui Park will reopen Friday morning

Swimmers will be welcomed back into the Puna park starting at 7 a.m. Friday, October 4.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health collected water samples from the hot pond and has determined the bacteria levels to be normal for safe swimming areas. The Department of Health has found no evidence to suggest that the pond water is contaminated.

After learning September 26 of media reports that the swimmer was hospitalized, Department of Parks and Recreation Director Clayton Honma took immediate action to close the park to ensure the public’s safety. The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks swimmers, park users and the general public for their patience and understanding while the temporary closure was in effect.

The Department of Health wishes to remind the public not to go swimming with an open cut. Signs posted in ‘Āhalanui Park warn against this activity. Open wounds, according to state health experts, should be kept clean, dry and covered to prevent infection, which can come from anywhere, including from bacteria that lives naturally on the human body.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.

 

Hawaii County Closes Hot Ponds at ‘Āhalanui Park After Person Allegedly Gets Sick Swimming in Pond

The Department of Parks and Recreation closed ‘Āhalanui Park in lower Puna on Thursday, September 26, after learning of an unconfirmed report that a member of the public allegedly became sick after swimming in the park’s hot pond.

 ‘Āhalanui Park Hot Ponds

‘Āhalanui Park Hot Ponds

Ensuring the health and safety of all park users remains the top priority of the Department of Parks and Recreation. In an abundance of caution, Director Clayton Honma took immediate action to close the park and request the Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch test the pond’s water quality.

‘Āhalanui Park will remain closed pending the Department’s receipt of the test results and assurance that the water quality continues to fall within safety guidelines.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closure may cause and thanks the public for its understanding.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Big Island Police Investigating Puna Robbery of California Visitors at Hot Ponds

Police are investigating a robbery that occurred late Sunday night (April 29) in the Puna District.

At about 12:36 a.m. Monday, police received a report from a 30-year-old female visitor from California. She reported that last night at about 11:30 p.m., she and a 26-year-old male companion, also from California, were parked in a rented silver Jeep Patriot in the area of the Ahalanui Park in lower Puna. They were awakened by a rock shattering a window of the Jeep. The rock struck the 26-year-old passenger, who declined treatment for minor injuries.

The victims were apparently blinded by a bright light used by one suspect and it appeared that at least one more suspect was present during the incident. One of the suspects reached into the vehicle and removed an undisclosed item. One of the suspects demanded money and made mention of a firearm. Neither victim saw a weapon.

The victims drove away from the area and reported the incident to police upon reaching a parking lot in the South Hilo district.

The incident is classified as a second-degree robbery, first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, and first-degree criminal property damage.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed the incident call Detective Wendell Carter at 961-2378 or email him at wcarter@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.