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Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Tuesday, March 25, 2003


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Corrections and clarifications

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






Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

[ POLICE / FIRE ]

HONOLULU

Police arrest suspect in toy store robbery

Honolulu police arrested a 31-year-old man for allegedly trying to steal money from an Ala Moana Center toy store's cash register yesterday.

Police said a man pushed away a 19-year-old store employee who tried to cover the drawer with her hands at KB Toys, took money and fled. The suspect later was arrested for investigation of second-degree robbery.

EAST OAHU

Kaiser senior arrested in school bomb threats

Police believe a Kaiser High School senior made the anonymous 911 call on March 5 that resulted in a bomb-scare alert at every public school on Oahu.

While police investigate the student's alleged involvement in that case, they arrested him for investigation of terroristic threatening for two bomb threats made to Kaiser on Feb. 27.

He is the fourth teenager arrested in connection with a series of calls made to Kaiser. Police previously arrested two other Kaiser students, a 14-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl. Another boy, 13, was also arrested.

In the March 5 case, police told state Department of Education officials that an anonymous caller said a bomb, which was set to go off within three days, had been planted at a public school on Oahu.

School officials searched campuses and informed parents of the threat.

Police later said the caller specified a high school and that the threat was not credible. But by then, many parents had already decided not to send their children to school.

Some officials from elementary and high schools on Windward Oahu took up an offer from Kaneohe Marines to have their schools searched by military police dogs.

WINDWARD OAHU

Traffic incident leads to attack on woman

A 59-year-old Waimanalo man was arrested yesterday for allegedly attacking an 18-year-old woman after the two were in a traffic incident.

Details of the traffic incident were not available but the woman reported that the other party involved in the incident used his car to cut her off, forcing her off the road near Ulupuni Street and Kalanianaole Highway in Kailua about 4:30 p.m.

The man then got out of his car, reached into hers, struck her and tried to pull her hair. He also broke her wireless phone and punched the hood of her car before fleeing, police said.

The suspect was arrested at his residence later.



[ COURTS ]

Drug dealer sentenced to 40 years in prison

A convicted drug dealer accused of being the leader of a major crystal methamphetamine ring in Hawaii was sentenced yesterday to 40 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Robert Jones recommended Packward Kaleilani Toelupe, 41, serve his sentence at a high-security federal penitentiary in Colorado.

A federal jury last year found Toelupe guilty of five drug trafficking offenses after agents seized 26 pounds of crystal meth, or "ice," valued at $3.5 million from a storage locker. Firearms and more ice were recovered from a Wahiawa home.

U.S. Attorney Edward Kubo Jr. said court-authorized wiretaps on Toelupe's phone were essential to the success of the investigation and the drug seizures.

The yearlong investigation of Toelupe originated as part of the federal Weed-and-Seed initiative in the Waipahu area.

Kubo said the case illustrates the seriousness of the ice problem in Hawaii.

Ex-FHB official admits sex assault of girl, 12

A former First Hawaiian bank executive has admitted to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl at his downtown condominium last June.

Alfred Robert Gross, 68, reached an agreement with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty yesterday to two counts each of second-degree sexual assault and third-degree sexual assault.

The girl, a friend of Gross' wife, had accompanied her to their condo at the Honolulu Tower at 60 N. Beretania St. on June 6 to do some chores for pay, according to a police affidavit. While the girl was there, Gross came home and allegedly assaulted her after following her into the bedroom.

Under the agreement, Gross will not seek a deferral of his guilty plea, and the state will ask that he serve five years on probation with no jail time. Gross has also agreed to pay for the girl's therapy. He will be sentenced May 27 before Judge Marie Milks.

Kahala bank robber gets 22-plus years

Convicted bank robber Sean Matsunaga was sentenced yesterday to 22 years and seven months in federal prison for his role in the July 1999 heist at the Kahala American Savings Bank.

There is no parole in the federal system.

A federal jury convicted Matsunaga, 23, last October of conspiracy to commit bank robbery, bank robbery and two firearms offenses -- one of which was later dropped.

He and three other men wearing masks and armed with assault rifles stormed the bank and fled with $115,000 cash. As they fled, at least one of them exchanged gunfire with police officer Fred Rosskopf.

Matsunaga is the second of four men to be sentenced. Co-defendant Albert Batalona was the only one of the four to face trial in state court for attempted murder. He is serving a life term without parole for shooting at Rosskopf.

Jacob Hayme and Roger Dailey both pleaded guilty to bank robbery in federal court and are awaiting sentencing.

Former Waianae man admits killing his son

A former Waianae man has admitted to recklessly causing the death of his 3-year-old son in 1995. The boy had suffered a fatal brain injury.

Raymond Herring, 50, who was indicted in 2001 for second-degree murder, pleaded guilty yesterday to the reduced charge of manslaughter.

Although Herring faced 10 year of imprisonment for manslaughter, he reached an agreement with prosecutors, who will ask that he serve probation rather than a prison term. Sentencing is set for May 27.

Residents reject plan for Waimanalo landfill

Alternatives proposed by the city to a proposed expansion of the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill are "insufficient and unacceptable," according to a lawsuit filed by Leeward residents and a lawmaker.

Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (D, Waianae-Maili-Makaha) and the Ko Olina Community Association filed suit in Circuit Court yesterday against the city, alleging that the final supplemental environmental impact statement in December did not satisfactorily respond to residents' concerns regarding the 14.9-acre expansion.

The suit said the city failed in its final impact statement to adequately address socioeconomic and land use impacts, evaluate the cost of acquiring an alternative site, or provide a comprehensive strategy to deal with odors, among other concerns.

Carol Costa, city spokeswoman, said city officials have not yet seen the complaint but that they have addressed all the residents' concerns and given them time to provide input.

Soldier faces federal pornography charges

A Schofield Barracks soldier has admitted to the FBI that he took pornographic pictures of himself and a 15-year-old girl, according to court papers.

A complaint filed in U.S. District Court yesterday alleges Jesus Norberto Evans-Martinez took the pictures while the girl was asleep at his Montague Street home at the Army base.

FBI agents seized computers found at Evans-Martinez's home and found computer images of him touching the girl's genitals and having other sexual contact. He was arrested Friday.



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