Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Bank executive pleads not guilty to sex assault

A bank executive accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl pleaded not guilty yesterday in Circuit Court.

Alfred Gross, 67, is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 19 on three counts of first-degree sexual assault and four counts of third-degree sexual assault on the girl, an acquaintance of his wife.

The alleged incidents occurred June 5 at his Honolulu Tower condominium, where the girl had been invited by his wife to do housework for pay. He was arrested the next day and is free after posting a $25,000 bond.

Mililani school tops in leukemia fund raising

Mililani Middle School was the top fund-raiser among schools participating in the 2001-2002 Hawaii Office of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's School & Youth Campaign.

Mililani students raised $4,696.04.

The total amount collected by schools through various programs was $71,000.

"We are so grateful to the students in our area who participated in the School & Youth Campaign this year," said MEA Neal, campaign manager for the society's Hawaii office.

"And we congratulate Mililani Middle School for their extraordinary ability as fund-raisers."

Other top fund-raisers were Holy Family Catholic Academy, Holomua Elementary, E Makaala, ASSETS School and Our Lady of Sorrows.

"Funds will be used for research to find cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma and provide information and other services to patients and their families.

Local sponsors were First Hawaiian Bank; Domino's Pizza; Loomis, Fargo & Co.; and Radio Disney.

The mission of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a voluntary health organization, is to cure blood-related cancers and improve the quality of life for patients and families.

For information on services and programs in Hawaii, call 534-1222.

Sanctions urged in Marcos judgment

Attorneys trying to enforce a judgment that has grown to more than $3 billion against the estate of the late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos asked a judge yesterday to impose sanctions against a Swiss financier for failing to cooperate in the case.

Visiting U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real delayed ruling on the motion after attorneys agreed to make one final attempt to arrange a deposition from Jean-Paul Sunier of Suntrust, a Swiss financial corporation.

The class-action lawsuit by 9,539 Filipinos was filed against the Marcos estate in 1986, the year Marcos was deposed and fled to Hawaii. He died in 1989.

In 1995 a Honolulu jury awarded plaintiffs $1.9 billion after finding Marcos responsible for summary executions, disappearances and torture.

Tax-return preparer agrees to close firm

The owner of a tax preparation firm charged with preparing false state tax returns and theft has agreed to stop preparing tax returns and has shut down his business to avoid prosecution.

David T. Jinbo, 54, who owned RSOH Inc. with offices in Aiea and Pearlridge, reached an agreement with prosecutors yesterday.

An Oahu grand jury charged Jinbo on Jan. 29 with preparing numerous income tax returns claiming excessive and bogus payments for itemized deductions and payments for credit of child and dependent care expenses.

He had also been charged with second-degree theft for failing to pay his employees' state taxes withheld.

Prosecutors agreed to defer Jinbo's plea for five years because of his declining health, said state tax investigator Stephen Hironaka.

Under an agreement, Jinbo is prohibited from preparing any state or federal tax returns except for his or dispensing advice for the preparation of a return.

Anyone who has knowledge of Jinbo assisting in the preparation of tax returns is asked to call the state tax office at 587-1795.

Fitness ace to present workshops on walking

Barbara Steffens of Great Strides Honolulu will conduct walking workshops July 20 at Kapiolani Park.

The beginners class will be at 7:30 a.m., advanced at 8:30 a.m. and the Walking Co. Shoe Clinic at 9:30 a.m. A drawing will be held for gift certificates and merchandise from the Walking Co. and the Running Room.

Participants will learn strengthening exercises, how to improve their technique and burn 50 percent more calories during their workout.

Walking strengthens the heart, lungs and legs and can help people lose weight and stay fit, the Queen's Heart Institute points out.

Tips will be offered on shoes, safety, fitness, proper walking techniques and how to stay motivated.

Steffens, a fitness instructor since 1979 and a distance runner for 20 years, founded Great Strides, a walking wellness consulting firm. She was selected by the Rockport Co. as one of the top 10 National Walk Leaders for 1989. Walking Magazine selected her as one of the 1993 Walkers of the Year.

The workshops are free with the Queen's Heart Institute's Healing Heart (Ka Na'au Ho'ola) Program Card and $7 for others.

The card is free for Queen's heart patients and $10 per year for others. It offers discounts on various health services, products and classes.


[Taking Notice]


Erwin Valenzuela, left, and Ernest Valenzuela Jr.


>> Brothers Ernest and Erwin Valenzuela of Waimea on the Big Island have earned Eagle Scout Awards, the highest honor of the Boy Scouts of America program.

>> Minoru Ueda, former president of the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce and vice chairman of Central Pacific Bank, and Nancy Nagai, a clerk for the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu for 36 years, have received Japanese Imperial Decorations, the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Rays.

>> Valerie Sakimura of Honolulu, a University Laboratory School student, has won first place in a state-level competition in the 15th annual National Peace Essay Contest, sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace.

Academic Awards

>> Heald College has awarded $11,400 in merit scholarships and $3,200 in quarterly scholarships this year. Merit awards went to Maria Fe Papas, Leilehua High School; Casi Smith, Kaiser; Villamor Agpaoa, Campbell; Jamie Baldauf, Kailua; Jennifer Lum, Pahoa (Hawaii); Oliver Villanueva, Waimea (Kauai); and German Carraang, Lanai (Maui).

Quarterly awards were given to Glen Aguinaldo, Campbell; Lori Bilan, Nanakuli; Nancy Dang, Kaimuki; Mara Fujimoto, Molokai; Shiela Ann Garcia, Moanalua; Mary Grace Guiang, Leilehua; Adrianna Hussey, Lahainaluna; Roslynn Medeiros, Castle; Jady Meyer, Hilo; and Stephanie Poteete, Waimea.

Yuriko Dunn and Sonia Marumoto were inducted into the 2002 Alumni Hall of Fame.

Judy Sadoyama of Farrington was given the Excellence in Career Education Teaching Award. She was nominated by her students.

HealthSouth Surgicare of Hawaii was named Employer of the Year for showing exceptional support to Heald's Career Services Office.

Outstanding Instructor Awards were presented to Anthony Kelly, who teaches Technology Programs, and Sheri Kishaba-Leaman of the Medical Program.

Thomas Simon has been appointed dean of Technology Programs.


>> Matson Navigation Co. Inc. has awarded $35,000 to Aloha United Way, a network of 64 health and human service agencies. All proceeds were raised from Hawaii vacation packages that Matson purchased, donated and sold on eBay. The charity auction was part of its "Promote Hawaii" campaign, an initiative to stimulate tourism and the economy in the wake of the Sept. 11 disaster.

>> The Institute for Human Services has received $75,000 from the Lange Foundation and $46,400 from the Koenig Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation for its Homeless Family Support Program.


Corrections and clarifications

>> A state Legislature investigative committee on compliance with the Felix consent decree was interested in questioning mental health consultant Lenore Behar but did not subpoena her. A Page A4 article Saturday incorrectly reported that she had been subpoenaed.

>> The Maui Film Festival photos in yesterday's Today section were taken by Jeffrey Meyer. Credit was incorrectly given to Don Brown. Also, photos of the Disney Hollywood premiere on Page D4 were taken by Eric Charbonneau/BEI. They were incorrectly credited to Disney.

>> Gary L. Greenly wrote the letter titled "Hawaii consistently ignores criticism," which appeared Saturday. His name was omitted from the letter.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Managing Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers


Police seek suspect in Kauai editor's death

LIHUE >> A car was seen speeding away from the Wailua home of Walter Robert "Fig" Mitchell II, 60, at about the time he was killed June 10, police said.

Police gave no information about the death or a motive for the killing but said they were searching for the car, which was described as a large rose-colored, four-door American-made car with tinted windows.

Mitchell was found dead of a head injury in his bed. He was a former sports editor of the weekly Kauai Times, a radio sports announcer and coached several sports on the island.

Driver was legally drunk in Maui fatality

Blood tests show that a man charged with first-degree negligent homicide in a crash that killed a retired Maui police officer was legally drunk, said Lt. Charles Hirata.

Bruce Mauvais, 56, of Lahaina, had blood-alcohol level higher than the legal limit of 0.008 percent, Hirata said. He declined to give the specific level. He was released after posting $5,000 bail.

Mauvais was charged in the death of Antonio Funes, 54, who was hired to direct traffic while paving crews worked on the Honoapiilani Highway widening project.

Shortly before 3 a.m. Friday, Funes was hit by Mauvais' pickup truck north of the highway junction near North Kihei Road. Funes was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he died three hours later.

Funes retired from the Maui Police Department in 1997 after 22 years of service.

Police seek stolen tires in Kailua-Kona

Police want the public's help in solving the theft of 77 tires that occurred between May 17 and 19 at Pacific Island Tire in the Old Industrial Area of Kailua-Kona.

Police said the tires were valued at more than $8,000 from a container behind the store.

Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Tod Bello at 326-4646 or 935-3311, or CrimeStoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.


Canadian visitor drowns in Waikiki

A 79-year-old visitor from Canada apparently drowned yesterday while swimming in waters off Waikiki.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner has identified him as Ralph Benarroche of Vancouver. Benarroche was found floating near the shore at Ft. DeRussy Beach at 4:55 p.m. He was taken to Straub where he was pronounced dead.

Man allegedly beaten for money in Kaimuki

Police were looking for as many as five suspects and a car used in an alleged kidnapping and robbery Sunday night that began in Kaimuki and ended in Moiliili.

A 20-year-old man told police he was driving in Kaimuki about 10 p.m. when an acquaintance named "Mickey" stopped him and got into his car. He said Mickey directed him to an apartment where he was assaulted by four or five males after one of them named "Johnny" demanded money from him, police said.

Two of the suspects went with the victim after he told them he could get money from a relative, police said.

The victim said he drove the suspects to the shopping center across from Old Stadium Park and, when he was walking away from the car, saw a friend with a cellular telephone, police said. He used the telephone to call police.

Police want help in gem theft attempt


Honolulu police want help identifying a man who tried to rob an Ala Moana Hotel jewelry store on June 10.

Police said the man entered the Paradise Jewelry Store about 9 p.m., wearing a ski mask and demanding jewelry from the showcase. After the victim refused, the man pulled out a black handgun and made more demands.

The gunman then hit the showcase with a screwdriver, shattering the glass, police said. The noise alerted nearby witnesses, and the failed robber fled without any jewelry, police said. He was described as in his 30s, 5-feet-8, 180 pounds, with black straight crew-cut hair, black eyes and a tan complexion. He was wearing a heavy sterling silver chain and pendant, a dark long-sleeve T-shirt and a black ski mask.

Police said the suspect also had a tattoo on the back of his neck. Anyone with information may contact Detective Taro Nakamura at 529-3392 or CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.


Lost hikers rescued above Sacred Falls

Fire officials called police Sunday night after rescuing two hikers two miles above Sacred Falls, said Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Richard Soo. The hikers said they got to the area by way of the Maakua Trail in Hauula, which the state closed to the public three years ago.

The two called for help on a cell phone saying they did not know where they were, Soo said.

At about 9 p.m. the fire rescue helicopter, using a light beacon, located the man and woman, who had a flashing light. They were airlifted to Hauula Elementary School. The woman, in her 20s, refused treatment for an injured ankle, Soo said.

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