Stryker team soldier dies in Iraq
A 26-year-old from Schofield Barracks' Stryker Brigade Combat Team died yesterday in Iraq.
Spc. Jeremiah C. Hughes of Jacksonville, Fla., died in Balad of injuries sustained in a noncombat incident in Abu Gharab, the Pentagon announced this morning.
The Defense Department announcement said the incident was being investigated. The Army did not provide other details.
Hughes was the seventh soldier assigned to the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team to die in Iraq since it was sent there in December.
Hughes' unit, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, has lost three other solders. On Feb. 8, Spc. Michael T. Manibog, Staff Sgt. Jerald A. Whisenhunt and Sgt. Gary D. Willett were killed in Taji when their Stryker vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.
Since the war in Iraq started on March 19, 2003, 82 soldiers, four sailors, 80 Marines, two Air Force personnel and one civilian with Hawaii ties have died there.
Big Isle Civil Defense has director
HILO » Quince Mento, an assistant chief in the Hawaii County Fire Department, was named the new county Civil Defense director yesterday by Mayor Harry Kim.
Mento fills a vacancy left by the resignation of former Director Troy Kindred in November.
Kim, a 24-year veteran of managing Civil Defense before he retired and ran for mayor in 2000, has been functioning since November as both mayor and Civil Defense chief.
Born and raised on the Big Island, Mento began his career as a Honolulu firefighter after graduating from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He returned to the Big Island and joined the Hawaii County Fire Department in 1985.
Kim praised Mento's 25 years of experience but placed special emphasis on Mento's knowledge of the Incident Command System required by the federal government.
Police, Fire, Courts
Suspect in Aiea Cue heist caught
Police arrested and charged one of three suspected robbers of an Aiea billiards room, who might have been involved in a spate of automated teller machine break-ins last week.
Police charged Ju Young Woo, 33, of Pearl City with first-degree robbery Wednesday night. Crime Reduction Units from three districts tracked him to a Mililani home Monday and arrested him.
Police said last week they believe three suspects in the 2 a.m. April 3 Aiea Cue robbery might have been involved in three other ATM break-ins in which the machines were carefully opened and in two instances cash was successfully removed.
The manner in which the machines were broken into and the proximity in time and place led police to that conclusion.
In the Aiea Cue robbery, the employees and patrons heard a blowtorch being used to open the ATM and coin machines, a police affidavit said. The machines appeared to have been damaged by a torch, the affidavit said. The suspects allegedly took an undisclosed amount of cash from the machines and also allegedly took $1,175 from the cash register.
One suspect allegedly wielded a crowbar in a threatening manner, and he and another suspect ordered employees and patrons to the ground, handcuffed and dragged one employee, police said. The suspect also used the crowbar to allegedly knock out the surveillance camera.
Two break-ins occurred in the early morning hours of April 3 at Waipio Shopping Center and Aiea Shopping Center. A third break-in took place April 1 at Pearl City Business Plaza.
Woo was convicted of two felony drug charges in 2004, for which he received five years' probation, as well as abuse of family/household member in 1996.
House cleaner accused of theft
Police arrested a 43-year-old house cleaner for allegedly stealing checks from 2006 to 2007 from a Kaneohe couple who are in their 90s.
The Kahaluu woman was arrested on suspicion of 62 counts of second-degree forgery, one count of second-degree identity theft and one count of first-degree theft.
The woman was doing housecleaning for the couple and allegedly stole checks from the couple and cashed them, police said.
The alleged forgeries occurred from November 2006 to December 2007.
The Kaneohe police Crime Reduction Unit contacted the woman, who turned herself in Wednesday.
The woman was released pending investigation. Police are seeking her indictment.
The woman was convicted of first-degree theft in 1999 and was sentenced to 150 hours' community service, five years' probation and $48,520 restitution.
Man is charged in alleged assault
Big Island authorities charged a 47-year-old man yesterday with an attempted first-degree sexual assault that allegedly occurred Jan. 18 in Kona.
Police arrested Jose Zepeda Anguiano Wednesday at Keahole Airport after receiving information he was about to flee the island.
After receiving tips from the public, police went to Anguiano's workplace but were unable to contact him.
Police learned he was about to flee and contacted airport security, which detained him at 9 p.m. Wednesday just before he was about to depart on a flight to California. Police arrested him at 10:30 p.m.
Bail was set at $50,000.
The female victim reported the suspect drove her to an area along Mamalahoa Highway where he allegedly attempted to sexually assault her.