Star-Bulletin staff and wire

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Lawsuit alleges abuse of youths by officers

Four former wards at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility are suing the state and five corrections officers for allegedly assaulting them while in state custody.

The complaint, filed in Circuit Court yesterday, alleges youth correctional officers Gilbert Hicks, Richard Koehler, Sone Raymond Mapu, Aukusotino Pelefoti and Stanley Sue conspired to violate their civil rights. The youths and their guardians are seeking damages to be proven at trial.

Derrick Dahilig, spokesman for the Department of Human Services, said they cannot comment because the lawsuit is pending. Hicks declined comment. The others could not be reached.

The lawsuit alleges one of more of the officers punched each of the youths on separate occasions during their stays, slammed their faces into the ground, choked them, and in one instance "clotheslined" one of them.

The plaintiffs allege the state failed to properly and thoroughly investigate the assaults.

Martial arts fighter indicted in assault

An Oahu grand jury has indicted mixed martial arts fighter "BJ" Penn with first-degree assault of a police officer.

Penn, 26, of Hilo, is accused of punching officer Richardson Pouoa in the left cheek May 8 as the officer tried to break up a fight involving a crowd of men outside the Zanzabar nightclub.

The club was hosting a party for participants of the Rumble on the Rock 7 mixed martial arts event the night before at Blaisdell Center.

Pouoa, a 15-year veteran of HPD, was working special duty at Zanzabar when he responded to a fight on Seaside Avenue. Pouoa used pepper spray on Penn and the men after they refused repeated demands to leave, police said.

Penn subsequently left in a car, but returned on foot and allegedly assaulted Pouoa before fleeing. Penn was arrested, but was set free after posting $20,000 bail.

$2.7M federal grant aids UH flood recovery

The federal government is giving $2.7 million to help the University of Hawaii recover from October's flooding in Manoa Valley.

The money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will cover the deductible portion of the state's flood insurance policy for damage to public buildings, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said.

Just under $2 million is earmarked for Hamilton Library, with the rest of the money going to cover damage at the Biomedical Science Building.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff


Homeowner holds intruder for police

A 33-year-old homeowner fought with and detained a 24-year-old burglar whom he found inside his Magellan Avenue residence Monday night, police said.

The homeowner returned to his residence before 11 p.m. and found the suspect with a pile of his belongings in the living room, according to police. The suspect attacked the homeowner and the victim fought with him and held the suspect until police arrived.

The suspect was also arrested for trespassing in another case earlier that day. Police said the suspect in that case also entered a house where he was confronted by residents, but that he fled the scene instead of confronting them.

Alleged thief arrested after crashing a bike

Police arrested the victim of a bicycle accident in the hospital after finding items stolen from a parked truck yesterday.

The suspect, 33, had been taken for treatment at the Queen's Medical Center while police were at the scene of the collision between his bicycle and a vehicle fronting 5033 Maunalani Circle about 1:30 p.m.

The owner of the truck saw items had been stolen and happened to drive up to the accident scene, spotting his bag under the suspect's bicycle. He also told officers that the bag had been taken from his truck which had been parked up the street from the scene of the crash.

Police later found other property from the truck on the suspect at Queen's. He was later arrested for unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and for an outstanding traffic warrant.


Wahiawa woman arrested after fight

Police arrested a 37-year-old Wahiawa woman who allegedly assaulted another woman with a glass mug and threatened her with a pair of scissors and an ice pick.

Police said the suspect and the victim, a 48-year-old Wahiawa woman, got into a disagreement before the suspect allegedly picked up a glass mug and struck her in the head and torso several times.

The suspect, while holding a pair of scissors and ice pick, also allegedly threatened to kill the victim, police said.

The victim received a bump and a cut to her head.

Police arrested the suspect yesterday without incident.

Waipahu bank robbery suspect arrested

Honolulu police arrested a 52-year-old man who allegedly robbed the First Hawaiian Bank in Waipahu last week.

At 3:25 p.m. last Wednesday, police said the man was seen entering the bank and passing a demand note to a teller. He later fled the scene after being given an undisclosed amount of cash.

The suspect was then featured on CrimeStoppers and Wahiawa police were able to locate and arrest him last night for investigation second-degree robbery.


Attempted murder charge filed in car theft

A 23-year-old homeless woman, who allegedly stole a car Monday, dragging her 65-year-old grandmother who owns the vehicle along a Kailua road, was charged with attempting to kill the owner.

Leila K. Boyd was charged yesterday with second-degree attempted murder. Bail was set at $75,000.

Police said the victim tried to stop her granddaughter from taking her car by reaching inside to take the keys out of the ignition. The granddaughter then allegedly rolled the window up and trapped the woman's arm inside.

Boyd then allegedly put the car in gear and drove about 175 feet, dragging the woman, with her arm caught inside, along the roadway, police said. The woman was able to free herself and sustained injuries to various parts of her body, according to police.

She was released after treatment at Castle Medical Center.

Police arrested the suspect Monday at 1640 Ulukahiki St. in Kailua behind Castle Medical Center on suspicion of second-degree attempted murder and auto theft.


Police identify victim of crash on Big Isle

Big Island police identified a 24-year-old Honokaa man who died from injuries after a Jeep overturned in Hamakua on Saturday.

Jarrod Jonas Lawrence was a passenger in a 1979 Jeep that was found off the Kapulena Airstrip Road. Hamakua patrol officers said sometime prior to 10:38 p.m., the 40-year-old Honokaa man who was driving the Jeep lost control and ran off the left side of the road and overturned.

The driver was flown by the Fire Department's medical helicopter to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was reported in critical condition. Two other male passengers, 18 and 34, both of Honokaa, were taken to the North Hawaii Community Hospital, where they were listed in satisfactory condition.

Police said speed and alcohol appear to be factors in the crash. Big island Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and ordered an autopsy to determine the victim's cause of death.

E-mail to City Desk


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