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Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Tuesday, September 26, 2000

Rubber seal caused August Hilo plane crash

A faulty rubber seal caused a Piper Navajo Chieftain to catch fire before it crashed into the waters off Hilo Bay last month, according to a preliminary report released this week by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Investigators found fire damage extending from the oil filter to the rear of the plane, according to the report. Upon closer inspection of the oil filter base, they found "extruded remains of the rubber seal."

The Aug. 25 crash left 61-year-old Laveta Rose Reynolds, of Oklahoma, dead. The pilot, Nicholas Damis, 33, and seven other passengers were rescued.

Damis first felt the Big Island tour plane shift to the right and noticed the engine's pressure dropping near Laupahoehoe. He fought to keep control of the plane and planned to land at Hilo International Airport 3.1 miles away, but was forced to land in the ocean, the report states.

The plane sank nose first as it hit the water.

It rolled right and was submerged within a minute and came to rest 80 feet below the surface.

Mechanics must visually inspect for evidence of oil leakage or extrusion of the rubber seal every 50 hours.

Maintenance records showed that the mandatory service was complied with within 19 hours.

Attack on sisters gets sex offender 10 years

A man convicted last year of sexually assaulting two sisters, 6 and 12 years old, has been sentenced to 10 years each on three counts of third-degree sexual assault, to be served concurrently.

But Angel Inoue, 41, will begin serving this sentence only after he completes a 20-year term he is serving for a 1990 conviction for breaking into an abandoned bus and sexually assaulting a homeless woman and beating her boyfriend.

He also faces a maximum 20-year term when sentenced Oct. 13 on an unrelated kidnapping charge where he allegedly put a drug into a 16-year-old girl's tequila.

Judge Richard Perkins yesterday granted the state's motion for extended terms on the sex assault of the sisters based on the nature of the offense. He also ordered Inoue to serve a mandatory minimum of one year and eight months as a multiple offender.

Six Hawaiian groups want artifacts returned

A majority of Hawaiian "claimant" organizations with ties to the missing Forbes Cave artifacts want them returned.

Six of the 11 claimants responded to a museum request for written opinions with demands that the artifacts be recovered, while one claimant -- the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands -- preferred to leave the artifacts wherever they are hidden.

The 83 objects were loaned to Hui Malama in February under the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act and have since disappeared.


Some events of interest


Bullet Noon-1:15 p.m., Supreme Court courtroom, 417 S. King St.: Free seminar explaining the process of obtaining a protective order. Protective orders are issued when someone has been the target of physical or sexual violence, threats of violence, malicious property damage or extreme psychological abuse.

Bullet 7:30 p.m., Mililani Rec Center III: Mililani/Waipio/ Melemanu No. 25 neighborhood board meeting, 95-281 Kaloapau St.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Kauai increases reward for murder information

LIHUE -- Kauai County has increased the reward from $10,000 to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the rape and murder of two west-side women.

The reward was raised by the Kauai Chamber of Commerce and the Kauai Economic Development Board, Kauai Mayor Maryanne Kusaka said yesterday.

Police also said they believe there was a witness to the attempted murder and rape of a third west-side woman, but would not say what led them to that conclusion. "We need that person to step forward," said Inspector Mel Morris.

The two murders and attempted murder took place between April 7 and Aug. 30. All three women were petite, middle-aged Caucasians who were alone in isolated areas when attacked.

People with information can call Kauai CrimeStoppers at (808) 241-6787.

CrimeStoppers tip helps break up Kalihi drug lab

A CrimeStoppers tip to Honolulu police yesterday morning led to the break-up of an alleged illegal drug laboratory in Kalihi.

The anonymous tip involved two suspects in a forgery case involving credit cards, police said. When officers went to the Kalihi Street home, they found items consistent with a clandestine lab in open view.

Crystal methamphetamine, plus materials commonly used in an "ice" operation and a handgun were recovered, police said. A man and woman were arrested and face possible drug charges.

Last Thursday, state drug agents and police raided an illegal lab at a home on Ulupaina Street in Kailua and arrested two men.

Hilo man in custody on suspicion of robbery

HILO -- A Hilo man is in police custody after attacking a woman and taking her purse yesterday, then returning it when he found no money, police said.

Douglas Kekaualua, 43, is being held in lieu of $5,000 bail after being charged in the robbery.

The victim told police she was punched in the head, chest, and stomach near Wailoa State Park about 11 a.m.

The attacker took her purse, but when she pleaded for him to return her identification, he looked through the purse, found no cash, and gave it back.

He took 50 cents which fell from her apron and left, but was captured a short time later.

Big Isle man arrested for absence in court

Police on the Big Island have arrested a 39-year-old man who had been at large since posting bail earlier this month for three felony charges.

John Jay Bondaug Jr. was apprehended after an off-duty police officer recognized him at Pahoa Field from a televised CrimeStoppers news release, police said.

Bondaug was convicted of murder in 1980 and was released on parole in April 1999.

He posted bail for a Sept. 14 arrest on charges of burglary, possession of a deadly weapon and criminal property damage, but failed to appear in court.

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