Big Island Police Charge Kona Man With Attempted Murder and Six Other Offenses

A South Kona man who set himself on fire and attempted to do the same to his ex-girlfriend has been charged with attempted murder and six other offenses.

Robert York

Robert York, 27, of Hōnaunau was charged at 7 p.m. Thursday with second-degree attempted murder, kidnapping, first-degree terroristic threatening, first-degree arson, criminal trespassing and two counts of abuse of a family/household member.

He was held at the Kona police cellblock in lieu of $66,250 bail until his initial court appearance Friday morning (February 17).

Police initially arrested York on suspicion of abuse, terroristic threatening and arson. Detectives revised the charges after consultation with county prosecutors.

The charges stemmed from an incident early Tuesday morning (February 14) at a home on Tobacco Road in Hōnaunau. York reportedly set fire to the front porch of his ex-girlfriend’s house and then doused her and himself with a flammable liquid and attempted to set them both on fire. After the woman’s relatives pulled York away from her, York set himself on fire.

Police arrested him Wednesday (February 15) when he was released from Kona Community Hospital, where he had been treated for his injuries.

The victim did not require medical attention for the injuries she received during the struggle with York.

Kona Man Sets Himself on Fire and Attempts to Set Ex-Girlfriend on Fire Too

A South Kona man is in police custody after setting himself on fire and attempting to do the same to his ex-girlfriend.

Police initially received a 1:21 a.m. report Tuesday (February 14) that a man was walking on Tobacco Road in Hōnaunau with a knife. En route, Kona patrol officers received updates that a house at that location was on fire.

Upon arrival, the officers determined that the suspect, 27-year-old Robert York of Hōnaunau, had reportedly gone to the home of his ex-girlfriend, poured a flammable liquid on the front porch and lit it on fire.

After the 26-year-old victim escaped from the house by climbing out a window, the suspect reportedly restrained her and poured the flammable liquid onto both her and himself.

The victim’s relatives, who live in another house on the same property, heard the commotion, exited their house and pulled the suspect away from the victim. As one of the relatives was fighting the flames on the porch with a garden hose, the suspect set himself on fire.

The relatives helped the suspect [corrected party] extinguish the flames. The suspect [corrected party] then fled from the property on foot.

A short time later, the suspect called 911 and was taken by ambulance to Kona Community Hospital for treatment of burns.

Police made contact with York at the hospital. When he was discharged from the hospital at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, officers arrested him on suspicion of abuse, terroristic threatening and arson. He is being held at the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

The victim did not require medical attention for the injuries she received during the struggle with the suspect.