Friday, March 19, 2004

Police arrest teens
in expensive prank
at Kaneohe course

Bay View's general manager worries that
business could suffer due to the vandalism

Police said damage to luxury golf carts at a Kaneohe golf course is reminiscent of a recent episode of "Jackass," MTV's show of twisted pranks and stunts, in which men damaged a golf course.

"They basically had fun playing bumper cars," said acting police Lt. John McCarthy, who heads the Windward Oahu Burglary/Theft Detail.

Police have arrested four teens so far who are suspected of damaging 20 golf carts and one of the greens at Bay View Golf Park at 45-285 Kaneohe Bay Drive sometime between 9 p.m. Sunday and 5 a.m. Monday, police said.

Police suspect more people were involved.

Two teenage boys, ages 15 and 16, were arrested yesterday for one count each of unauthorized control of a vehicle, second-degree burglary and second-degree criminal property damage.

Two others, also 15 and 16, were arrested earlier this week for the same offenses.

Part of the attraction at Bay View was the deluxe carts resembling Rolls-Royces, Cadillacs and Western-style models with fringed roofs. They are hard to replace since they were purchased at mainland trade shows at $8,000 apiece, said Bay View General Manager Tom Nishiyama.

"Half of the fleet of golf carts is gone," Nishiyama said, and he worries business will be down this weekend because of it.

McCarthy said some of the suspects are students at Castle High School, where a prior theft of a golf cart occurred.

The suspects were arrested after word of the incident spread. "They actually couldn't keep their mouths shut," McCarthy said.

Police have received tips from several witnesses, young and old.

It is still not clear whether the incident was a joke or prank or what the motive was, McCarthy said. "These kids just went out and did something stupid," he said.

He said he does not know if they were copying a prank on an episode of "Jackass," but it sounded similar. McCarthy said he had not seen the show, but someone had described it to him.

Police are investigating if there is a connection between a party that some of the suspects may have attended and the golf cart incident.

The total damage to the course and carts is still being assessed, Nishiyama said.

The golf course, about three blocks from the high school, has been vandalized before on a much smaller scale, with graffiti and by people riding bicycles and skateboards. "I would like neighbors to look out for us," he said. "They might be the next victims."

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Aaron Amimoto at 247-2166.


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