2 arrested in ferry case charged with impersonating officers
LIHUE » Kauai police have arrested two protesters who allegedly blocked passengers coming off the Hawaii Superferry on Aug. 26 and impersonated law enforcement officials.
Police say they expect more arrests targeting the members of a group claiming to be the rightful heirs to the kingdom of Hawaii.
Robert Pa and Dayne Gonsalves, members of the Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi, were arrested Tuesday on charges of obstruction of government operations and disorderly conduct for blocking cars and people coming off the Superferry when it made its lone arrival on Kauai on Aug. 26.
Gonsalves allegedly spearheaded the effort to chain and padlock exits to keep Superferry travelers from entering Kauai, police officials said. Police were forced to cut locks and move vehicles to allow the passengers to exit the ferry's Nawiliwili port.
What is more, said Assistant Police Chief Roy Asher, Gonsalves and Pa have allegedly been flashing badges for the Kingdom of Atooi which look like Kauai Police Department badges and say "Hawaii Federal Marshal." About 20 others might have similar badges.
"They look authentic, like ours," said Asher. "We don't want anybody carrying a badge" who is not authorized to do so.
The two have also been charged with impersonating a police officer after officers found the badges on them, and more arrests are expected.
"We have to nip this in the bud," Asher added. "Someone (could) be seriously hurt."
Asher said those who blocked the Superferry by paddling surfboards or canoes or swimming out in front of the Alakai Superferry on Aug. 26 and 27 are not the subject of the investigation.
"It has nothing to do with (those) in the water," Asher added.
Gonsalves and Pa were not available for comment.