Homeless woman charged in threat


POSTED: Friday, April 24, 2009

Authorities charged a 45-year-old homeless woman yesterday who was shot with a Taser and critically wounded by police April 3 after allegedly threatening officers with a metal skewer and pipe.

Yvonne Arsisto, arrested after 22 days in a hospital, was charged with four counts of first-degree terroristic threatening. She was in Oahu Community Correctional Center in lieu of $40,000 bail.

Police said security guard Richard Laureano checked on a business at 1517 S. King St. at 1:54 a.m. and found Arsisto holding a metal skewer and a thin, black metal pipe. Laureano called police.

Officer Leonard Nishimura arrived and told Arsisto to put the items on the ground. She allegedly refused, saying that “;God told her not to put the items down,”; police said in an affidavit.

Nishimura, who feared for his and Laureano's safety, activated and held his Taser in a ready position and warned her he would fire it if she did not drop the items, the affidavit said. But he deactivated it, realizing the Taser might be ineffective since she was wearing several layers of clothing.

Officers Christopher Tanodra and Kevin Takehara arrived, and Arsisto allegedly again refused to put down the items.

Nishimura moved around her looking for a place to fire the Taser, but Arsisto stepped into the street and then allegedly lunged forward with the two objects raised toward Tanodra and Takehara.

Nishimura fired his Taser, hitting her in the torso, and Takehara fired his handgun twice, hitting Arsisto once in the abdomen, the affidavit said.

Takehara was placed on administrative leave but is back on duty. An Internal Affairs investigation into the shooting continues.