Stolen-van owner wanted say in hijacker’s release
The Prosecutor's Office says that the head of a tour company is not considered a victim
The owner of a tour van company says he should have been notified of a hearing for the requested supervised release of a man who allegedly stole a company van and kidnapped four tourists in January 2005.
The city prosecutor's office says the tour van owner is not considered a victim and so has not been updated on the case.
Victor Lozano, owner of Dolphin Excursions, says he should have been able to submit comments to the court against the supervised release of Ricky Kenui -- just like the four tourists involved in the case.
"He stole my car," Lozano said. "I'm a victim."
Kenui, 37, was granted temporary supervised release on Wednesday. His release will be evaluated on March 23, when he will have to prove to the court that he has been making efforts to get into a drug abuse treatment program.
On Jan. 18, 2005, Kenui jumped into an idling tour van at the park at Kahe Beach Park and drove away. A man and three girls in the vehicle were threatened at knifepoint.
They were later let go but ordered to leave their things behind.
Kenui, who apologized to the court Wednesday for his actions, has been in prison for 14 months -- unable to post his $80,000 bail. He was arrested in Wahiawa four days after the hijacking.
Deputy Prosecutor Kory Young said the four victims, all from the mainland, were able to make their feelings on Kenui's release known to Circuit Court Judge Marcia Waldorf through the office's victim assistance program.
"The victims of the crime are basically in contact with the office," Young said, adding Wednesday's motion for a supervised release was the second to be filed.
Young said Lozano was not contacted on the case because he is not considered a "direct party" in the hijacking.
Lozano did get a call Thursday afternoon from the prosecutor's office, apprising him of Kenui's release. Lozano said it was the first call he had received from the office since the case started.
Kenui faces charges of auto theft and breaking into a car from the hijacking incident along with first-degree robbery.
"I don't know why they (the prosecutor's office) wouldn't let me know, keep me in the loop," Lozano said, adding the incident cost him at least $3,000 in canceled tours and other expenses.
Prosecutors objected to Kenui's supervised release, while defense attorneys argued he does not pose a flight risk.
Young said Kenui's trial is set to start the week of April 24.