Homeless sweep near airport nets 15 arrests
A nine-month investigation by law enforcement culminated yesterday in a sweep of squatters living near the Keehi Lagoon Park, where officers arrested 15 people for various alleged offenses.
"Law enforcement has known that people have been living there for a while, but due to the community outcry and complaints about the criminal activity that has been going on apparently in that area, that's when HPD and the Sheriff Division joined forces," said Louise Kim McCoy, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety, of which the Sheriff Division is a part.
McCoy said police and the Sheriff Division conducted a nine-month investigation to verify whether criminal activity was going on in the area.
The Sheriff Division arrested 10 people on a total of 19 warrants ranging from traffic infractions to criminal violations, McCoy said.
The Honolulu Police Department also arrested two males, one age 61, in connection with a sexual assault case, and a 42-year-old male on suspicion of drug offenses. Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested two additional males for immigration violations, McCoy said.
She said that while the others living there might not have been involved in any criminal activity, they clearly violated the airport's administrative rules, which prohibit camping and erecting structures.
Once the arrests were made, the others were allowed to retrieve their belongings, McCoy said.
Law enforcement officials also informed social services personnel about the homeless people who were forced to move from the area.