By Star-Bulletin Staff

Thursday, July 22, 1999

Shark bites Big Island man

A 43-year-old Big Island man was bitten by a shark yesterday off waters near Honolii Bridge near Hilo.

Battalion Chief Lloyd Nari- matsu of the Hawaii County Fire Department said firefighters responded to an alarm at 10:28 a.m. yesterday to a possible shark bite off Honolii.

Narimatsu said the man, identified by police as Griffith Yama-guchi, suffered a bite on his right thigh and buttock. The span of the bite was between 14 and 16 inches long, he said.

He was taken to Hilo Medical Center and was released yesterday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. "We think he was very lucky," said Robert Morris, chief executive officer of the Hilo Medical Center.

Narimatsu said the Fire Department and the Department of Land and Natural Resources closed a mile-long stretch of the beach yesterday while helicopter and boat crews search for the shark, believed to be between 6 to 8 feet long.

The last shark attack on the Big Island was Aug. 17, 1972, according to DLNR officials.

Hawaii 2000

From sandalwood to tourism

A half-dozen distinct industries have dominated and fueled Hawaii's economy over the past two centuries.

First there was the sandalwood trade with China, which flourished under King Kamehameha for several decades before over-logging depleted the forests. Then came whaling, which peaked in the 1840s and 1850s, first as a hunting ground then as a hub for provisioning.

In 1876, the Reciprocity Treaty allowed Hawaii's rice and unrefined sugar into the United States tax-free; in turn, American products came into Hawaii duty-free. Coupled with annexation in 1898 which opened access to North American markets, that cleared the way for sugar and pineapple to drive the local economy for a century.

After WWII, the U.S. military poured money into Hawaii -- and grew into an industry that rivaled agriculture.

Over the past 20 years, sugar and pineapple production have all but vanished due to cheaper foreign competition, but the military continues to work on maintaining its presence here.

The last big industry to date is, and continues to be, tourism. It began in force in the 1950s and saw a peak in the late 1980s, fueled mainly by moneyed Japanese tourists.

Two 'universities' named in lawsuit

Advertisements in newspapers and magazines around the world said Monticello University was a distance-learning school in Kailua that offered prestigious and accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees, according to a lawsuit filed in Circuit Court yesterday.

But the lawsuit, filed by the state Office of Consumer Protection, alleges that the university is not accredited, and its Kailua corporate address belongs to a base house on Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Air Station where relatives of the defendants live.

Thomas Jefferson University's corporate address was supposedly located in Kailua-Kona. But the address is the Crossroads Shopping Center, which has never been the home of a university office.

The lawsuit accused the two universities, Education Management Associates in Kansas, and various other defendants for failure to disclose in advertisements, catalogs and contracts that the two schools were not accredited.

Defendants are also accused of deceptive representation by implying the schools have staff and faculty when in truth they are operated by one individual, Leslie Edwin Snell of Kansas, and a handful of his family members including Gretchen Snell Decker.

The lawsuit asks the court to block the defendants from doing any business in Hawaii until all liabilities and civil penalties are paid. The lawsuit also asks the defendants disclose that the schools are not accredited in all published materials.

Big Island man faces multiple charges

HILO -- Police charged James Anthony Lyman, 33, of Paradise Park subdivision, with 29 offenses related to domestic abuse, firearms, and drugs yesterday, they said.

He is being held in lieu of $249,500 bail.

Police had been looking for Lyman since January when his estranged wife reported he kidnapped and abused her.

Also arrested at Lyman's home Monday was Randall Michioku, 32, of Kaneohe. He was charged with 16 drug offenses and held in lieu of $54,500 bail.


Pepper spray use hard to gauge

When the City Council considered legalizing pepper spray three years ago, police were concerned that it would be used more by criminals than by potential victims.

During a four-month trial period in 1996, police reported 14 attacks with pepper spray, compared with two reports of a victim fending off an attacker.

The City Council unanimously voted in December 1996 to permanently legalize pepper spray, anyway.

Pepper spray can be purchased almost anywhere, said Maj. Robert Silva. Prices can range from $15 to $20, and stores are required to instruct buyers on how to use it.

According to one dealer, buyers must be 18, show identification and sign a registration card.

Matt Arai, owner of Video Systems on Kapiolani Boulevard, said he sells about one canister per day, down from four per day when the sale of pepper spray was first legalized.

A Honolulu police sergeant yesterday said the number of people using pepper spray for defense might be somewhat skewed because failed attacks or robberies may not be reported. But a person robbed or attacked by a perpetrator using pepper spray always tends to report the incident.

Since the decision to legalize pepper spray, police have not kept statistics on pepper-spray attacks, so it is hard to gauge how often pepper spray is used in crimes.

But police say it is still being used in robberies and assaults.

By Jaymes K. Song, Star-Bulletin

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Arrested man flees police, jumps into canal

Fire crews pulled a 39-year-old man from the River Street canal yesterday after he jumped into the water in attempt to escape police.

The suspect was being arrested at Aala Park for having an open container of beer at 2:05 p.m., police said.

He ran away while his friend was being arrested.

The suspect, in handcuffs, jumped into the canal and refused to come out.

While fire crews attempted to haul him in, he spit on the firefighters and assaulted them, police said.

Thomas Square knifing suspect hunted

A 32-year-old man remains in critical condition today after he was stabbed last night with a broken beer bottle, about a block from police headquarters.

Meanwhile, police continue a search for the suspect.

Police said two men were drinking at Thomas Square when they started arguing at 7:53 p.m. The victim was stabbed in the lower chest and arm.

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