Necessity to shoot woman disputed


POSTED: Saturday, June 20, 2009

A 45-year-old homeless woman accused of lunging at two Honolulu police officers with a metal skewer and a metal pipe never made any advances toward the officers before they shot her with a gun and Taser, her lawyer Marcus Landsberg said in state court yesterday.

Yvonne Arsisto is awaiting trial on four counts of first-degree terroristic threatening.

She is recovering from a gunshot wound to her abdomen while in custody, unable to post $40,000 bail.

She is asking the court to order her release under the supervision of her sister pending trial.

Circuit Judge Richard Perkins expressed concern over Arsisto's mental health, which was mentioned in a report by the court's Office of Pretrial Services, and will rule on Arsisto's request on a later date.

Landsberg says he has no concern over whether Arsisto is mentally fit to stand trial and does not intend to rely on an insanity defense.

He presented video recorded by the camera on the Taser on April 3.

Landsberg said the video shows Arsisto stepping back from the officers.

It also recorded audio of the officers telling Arsisto they don't want anybody else to get hurt and Arsisto responding that nobody is going to get hurt.

He said the camera also recorded one officer telling another to “;shoot her already.”;

The Honolulu Police Department says both officers have returned to full duty pending the results of its investigation.

The department says its Internal Affairs Division is conducting both administrative and criminal investigations.