Tuesday, July 13, 1999

Gun club worker
is bank job suspect

His employer, shocked
at the news, called him
'a big teddy bear'

Three charged in holdup.

By Gordon Y.K. Pang


There was nothing out of the ordinary when Albert Raymond Batalona went to his job as a gun instructor at the Diamond Head Gun Club on Friday morning, according to store manager Mike Joy.

Joy said he got upset, however, when Batalona didn't show up for work Sunday.

A few hours later, police were questioning Joy about the man who is wanted in connection with Wednesday's robbery of American Savings Bank at Kahala Mall.

"He would joke around; he has a good sense of humor; he's a big teddy bear," Joy said, noting that he and other colleagues were shocked to learn Batalona was a suspect in the case. "This guy is responsible. We all trusted him with firearms."

Art Yesterday, police issued an all-points bulletin and asked for the public's help in finding Batalona, whom authorities said was armed and extremely dangerous.

"If they see him, they should call 911 or they should call Crimestoppers," Lt. Bill Kato said. "Do not approach this individual. We consider him extremely dangerous and heavily armed."

An FBI agent, in a signed affidavit, lists Batalona as the man who stood outside as the robbery occurred, shot at a police officer with an AR-15 assault rifle, and then hijacked a delivery truck to make his getaway.

Two other suspects in the case, Sean Matsunaga and Jacob Travis Hayme, were arrested Sunday and made brief appearances in U.S. District Court yesterday.

Last night, a fourth suspect was booked in connection with the bank robbery.

According to police records, 33-year-old Roger Dailey was arrested at police headquarters at 9:45 p.m.

Dailey is believed to the "cooperating individual" who confessed that he was one of the four masked robbers. He is believed to be the one who named Batalona, Matsunaga and Hayme.

A supermarket discount card attached to a key chain inside a stolen car used in the robbers' getaway led investigators to Dailey.

Joy said Batalona was trying to raise a son that his ex-wife had left in his care. But government officials took the child away, and Batalona was working hard at trying to gain back custody, Joy said.

Batalona worked at the club for about a year before he left to go to the mainland. Batalona returned only recently, Joy said, and he had no problem rehiring him two months ago.

Joy said he does background checks on all his employees and found no convictions on Batalona.

Court records, however, show at least one conviction for resisting arrest. He was sentenced to six months probation and fined $150 in lieu of 30 hours of community service.

Records also show Batalona and a co-defendant, Corbin Leon, were indicted October 1996 in Kauai Circuit Court for conspiracy to commit second-degree robbery.

Current status of the case was not available.

While there are other suspects who are being sought in the case, the focus is now on Batalona, said Kato, the police detective heading a task force assigned to capture the robbery suspects.

Batalona is described as 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds with a muscular build. He has black hair, green eyes, a tan complexion and numerous tattoos on his arms and back.

Joy said Batalona instructed customers on the use and safety aspects of handguns including .22- and .45-caliber revolvers and 9mm semiautomatic pistols. But Joy said none of the guns in the club is missing.

"We keep a strict count," he said.

Star-Bulletin reporter Debra Barayuga contributed to this report.

Three charged in bank heist;
one suspect remains at large

By Debra Barayuga


Three men suspected in Wednesday's holdup at Kahala American Savings were charged yesterday in U.S. District Court.

Federal Magistrate Barry Kurren ordered Sean Matsunaga, 20, of Kaneohe, and Jacob Travis Hayme, 22, of Kakaako, held in the custody of U.S. marshals until a detention hearing Thursday. A preliminary hearing for both defendants to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed has been scheduled for July 23.

A third man charged in the complaint, Albert Raymond Batalona, 24, is at large.

If convicted, each faces a maximum 25 years imprisonment.

Police initially thought there were five men in the robbery but now believe there may have been only four.

A fourth suspect is in custody, but was not charged yesterday.

According to an affidavit filed in federal court by FBI Special Agent Paul Amoy, tips to CrimeStoppers two days after the heist led to the identification of suspects.

Police also found a supermarket discount card in the getaway car.

After questioning the card's owner, they found another suspect.

Over the weekend, a man who confessed to being one of the masked robbers identified his cohorts as Batalona, Matsunaga and Hayme.

The man, who wasn't named in the affidavit, said Batalona was the gunman who shot at a police officer.

He also said Batalona hijacked a bakery van from a 78-year-old delivery driver to make his getaway.

The man said the four robbers met at Hayme's apartment and split the money.

In a search of Hayme's apartment on July 11, officials found $44,807, some with dye pack stains.

Officials also recovered an assault-style rifle that matched witness descriptions of the weapon used in the takeover.

Casings recovered at the bank were the same caliber as the rifle, the affidavit said.

Also that same day, Matsunaga's car was searched. Officials found three ammunition magazines similar to a magazine recovered at the bank.

The magazine is also designed to hold the same caliber rounds that were recovered at the scene.

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