Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Friday, April 27, 2001

DPS to look into inmate deaths at Arizona prison

A team from the state Department of Public Safety is on its way to Arizona to investigate the deaths of two Hawaii inmates and the beatings of two other inmates at a prison there.

John Kia, 41, died yesterday, of a heart attack, said Karl Stansel, Chief of Security at the Florence Correctional Center. Stansel said Kia, who was serving time for sex assault and kidnapping, had a history of heart problems and was on medication. He said doctors at Maricopa County Medical Center believe Kia also may have suffered a stroke.

Iuli Amani, 24, died April 16 of a heart attack after choking on a foreign object lodged in his throat, Stansel said. Prison officials are waiting for an autopsy because the object dislodged and Amani swallowed it. Amani was serving a 20-year sentence for manslaughter.

The state Department of Public Safety also will look into two fights at the prison.

One involved inmate Ulysses Kim, who was serving time for kidnapping in connection with an incident where he held a television cameraman hostage in 1993.

Stansel said a guard noticed Kim had a swollen cheekbone, broken nose and black eye and sent him to the hospital as a precaution. Kim did not report that he had been in a fight, Stansel said.

Prison officers also broke up a fight where Hawaii inmate Victoriano Ortiz was beaten by three or four other Hawaii inmates April 14. Ortiz was sent to the hospital and is in protective custody. Charges were filed against the other inmates, Stansel said.

A car that crashed into a house at 1759 Palolo Avenue last
night was not moved for fear the house might cave in.

2 injured as car crashes
into house on Palolo Avenue

A car crashed into a two-story Palolo Avenue house last night, knocking out the hollow tile walls of the bottom floor. The four-door sedan was not moved for fear the house might cave in.

Witnesses told police the car swerved to avoid a car backing onto the street at about 10:22 p.m. It then jumped the curb and crashed through a chain-link fence before hitting the home at 1759 Palolo Avenue.

The female driver of the car was taken to Queen's Medical Center and was in serious condition last night, police said. A male passenger , also was taken to Queen's with minor injuries, said fire Capt. Alan Chong, who was at the scene. Police did not give the ages of the victims.

No one was in the first floor storage room at the time of the accident. The four family members in the house were uninjured.

The crash cut electricity and water service to the home, Chong said.

The Red Cross assisted with relocating the family.

Corrections and clarifications

>> There are approximately 2.2 pounds in a kilogram. A story yesterday about a drug bust reversed the figures.

Corrections and clarifications

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Publisher and Editor in Chief John Flanagan at 529-4748 or email him at

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Police investigate shotgun robbery

Honolulu police are looking for four suspects who robbed a downtown business this morning and fired a shotgun blast into the ceiling.

Police said four men wearing ski masks and carrying shotguns entered the Bida Hi Hi Cue, 150 N. King St., about 2:00 a.m., ordered everyone down on the floor, forced the vendor to open the game machines and took money from the machines and the vendor. The four fled in a compact car. Before leaving one suspect fired a shot into the ceiling.

Man stabbed in throat during Kalihi robbery

A 37-year-old man suffered a stab wound to his throat in a robbery about 10 last night at a Burger King restaurant in the Dillingham Shopping Plaza.

The victim told police the robber got away with his watch after punching him in the face and stabbing him.

Punchbowl man charged in stabbing of cousin

Honolulu police yesterday charged Kenneth Soram, 32, of 1432 Lusitana St., with first-degree assault for stabbing his cousin in an argument Tuesday.

Witnesses told police the stabbing occurred as the two were drinking at the apartment complex where the two men live..

Search continues for hotel burglary suspect

Honolulu police are still looking for one more suspect in a hotel robbery and burglary case that happened earlier this month.

Police said that on April 19 three men broke through the hotel room door of unit No. 1203 at 1700 Ala Moana and demanded money from a 28-year-old male victim. Police reports state that the suspects beat the victim and threatened him with a knife, then took his wallet.

One suspect was located and arrested within an hour of the incident, said police. A second suspect, a 21-year-old male, was identified and arrested yesterday morning.

Expert, police investigate Maui archaeological sites

WAILUKU >> An archaeological expert was expected to accompany firefighters yesterday as they examined archaeological sites along the old Makena Road that may have been damaged by a brush fire.

"We're being very careful about it," acting Assistant Fire Chief Alan Pascua said.

Pascua said the firefighters had the fire under control before leaving Makena at 4:10 a.m. Wednesday, less than six hours after receiving the alarm.

He said fire officials were still investigating the cause of the fire, which burned the four acres mauka of the Kea Lani Resort.

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