CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Donald Love-Boltz, 73, made an initial appearance in District Court yesterday charged with second-degree assault and burglary.
Chief details police actions at palace
» With palace items safe, protection issue looms
Honolulu Police Chief Boisse Correa defended his officers yesterday from criticism of inaction to an alleged assault and lack of a quick response during Friday's takeover of Iolani Palace by a Hawaiian group.
HPD releases recording of 911 call from Iolani Palace
A palace staff member requests help
after a woman is allegedly assaulted
by a member of a pro-sovereignty group
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Here is a partial transcript:
Caller: Hi, I’m calling from Iolani Palace. I know the call has come in that a group has taken over the grounds. I just want to say that one of our employees was assaulted by the gate and the HPD officer on duty left, and he told her it’s the state’s responsibility.
911 call-taker: You want to make a complaint?
911: Let me connect you to the police.
Same caller: Hi, I’m calling from Iolani Palace.
Police dispatch: Uh huh.
Caller: I wanna say that one of our employees was assaulted by the gates by the group that is taking over, and the HPD officer, who was here, just left and he refused to help.
Police: He just left?
Caller: He just left. He said it’s the responsibility of the state, and I thought that when it’s a public safety issue, that the HPD would intervene, but the guy just left.
Police: Where are we going to send exactly the officer?
Caller: Between the State Library and the old archive building.
"One situation shouldn't reflect on all the hard work of the rest of the department," Correa said.
The attorney general's office and city prosecutor's office are looking at the criminal allegations arising from the takeover by Kingdom of Hawaii, Nation.
Yesterday, Honolulu District Judge Leslie Hayashi ordered a member of the group who allegedly assaulted an Iolani Palace employee to stay away from the palace grounds.
Donald A. Love-Boltz, 73, is the only person still in custody among the 23 members arrested.
Love-Boltz made his initial appearance in court yesterday morning on charges of second-degree assault and burglary, the most severe offenses of the group, while most of the other members faced minor criminal trespassing charges.
Hayashi agreed to grant the request of Mark Miyahira of the state attorney general's office, who asked for the "stay away" order that restricts Love-Boltz from entering the gates of the Iolani Palace grounds. Love-Boltz's bail was set at $5,000, and he is scheduled to have his preliminary hearing tomorrow afternoon.
According to court documents, Love-Boltz assaulted Noelani Ah Yuen, an Iolani Palace employee, by swinging a heavy iron gate into her several times. Ah Yuen had injuries to her back and neck.
Correa explained the chronology of events Friday, saying police first learned of the activities at the palace when the state Department of Land and Natural Resources called requesting police assistance shortly before 6 p.m.
HPD command sent a sergeant to the scene to assess the situation.
Meanwhile, directors of the departments of Public Safety and of Land and Natural Resources called Correa to ask for assistance, he said.
"We committed all our resources to the state agencies at that time," he said. Police had 31 patrol officers respond, and the Specialized Services Division was notified.
Correa said, "The supervisor went there, saw a commotion, stopped, came back, calmed the commotion down and tried to put the facts together and asked for someone from the Land and Natural Resources to deal with the assault case.
"I don't know of any police officer ... (who) would not assist a woman being assaulted," Correa said, adding, "if we do have that type of supervisor or officer," he would no longer be one.
HPD's Internal Affairs is investigating the conduct of the sergeant, a nine-year HPD veteran.
The first 911 call came at about 6:30 p.m. regarding the assault case, and the police 911 operator was confused because HPD command sent the sergeant and had not notified dispatch of any activity on the palace grounds, Correa said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Mufi Hannemann said yesterday he wants to hear both sides of the story.
"This is a state facility. This is state property. HPD just can't go in unless they're asked. I need to find out if they were asked, when they were asked and what was our response. And that's what we're trying to find out," Hannemann said.
Star-Bulletin reporter Rosemarie Bernardo contributed to this report.