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Friday, April 14, 2000




By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
A SWAT team member took aim at the front porch area
of the home of Mary Pua as her son Wesley held his
wife at knife-point during yesterday's standoff in Waianae.



Police gadget
ends Waianae
standoff in a flash

Wesley Pua, 38, held his
wife hostage until officers
utilized a blinding device

By Rod Ohira
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

A blinding explosive device nicknamed "flash bang" paved the way for police to resolve a 12-hour hostage crisis at Waianae Valley Homestead without any serious injuries.

Specialized Services Division officers were willing to wait out 38-year-old Wesley Pua, who was armed with a knife and holding his wife, Kathy, hostage inside his mother's home at 85-1108 Kepauala Place.

But shortly before 9 last night, the situation turned critical as Kathy Pua indicated to negotiators that her life was in danger.

At 9:07 p.m., Pua family members and friends who were at a home down the street from the hostage scene heard four loud explosive sounds.

A few minutes later, Pastor Alex Santos of Temple Emanuel Apostolic Church in Nanakuli led the group in a prayer of thanks that no one was seriously injured.

"I'm relieved and happy that nobody got killed," said Mary Pua, Wesley's mother. "The police did a beautiful job.


By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Curious neighborhood residents waited in their garages
and on the street during the standoff.



"They explained what they were going to do, so we were prepared (for the explosions)."

When the decision was made to go in, SSD officers reportedly shot down a door and tossed in the "flash bang," which explodes to a thundering sound and emits a blinding light.

The distraction allowed police to enter the house without resistance.

"He left us no option but to force our way in," SSD Maj. Kenneth Barker said, adding that "there was some struggle" in apprehending Pua.

Emergency Medical Services District Supervisor Mandy Shiraki said Wesley and Kathy Pua suffered minor injuries.

Kathy Pua, who reportedly was beaten by her husband, was taken to Waianae Comprehensive Center for treatment, Shiraki added.

Wesley Pua, who is wanted on a parole revocation warrant issued Feb. 10, was taken to Pali Momi Hospital for drug screening.

Pua and his wife were arguing on Kepauala Street before 9 a.m., said neighbor Dawn Callejo.

Charlene Kuhia, another neighbor, added: "I could hear him yelling the F-word. I went out to see who was yelling, but they were already back in the car. The car made a U-turn and went to the house."

Kuluua Pua, an eighth-grader at Nanakuli Intermediate School who is Wesley Pua's niece, said relatives were told her uncle became angry while waiting for his wife. "He wanted to go to the store to get coffee and cigarettes," Kuluua Pua said. "But she was taking her time and he snapped."

Kuluua added that after arguing on the street, she was told her aunt and uncle returned to her grandmother's house, where Wesley's sister ordered him to leave.

"They locked him out of the house, but he went in back and broke the door down," Kuluua said.

Wesley Pua was convicted for robbery in June 1991 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. After being denied parole in 1995, he escaped from the Laumaka work furlough facility in June.

Two months ago, Pua was assigned to a drug treatment program. Thirteen days later, a warrant was issued for his arrest for violating conditions of his parole.

Police sources confirmed that a woman's handbag containing crystal methamphetamine was found in a trash container outside the Kepauala Place residence.

Wesley and Kathy Pua have no permanent address, and had spent the night at Mary Pua's home.



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