Big Isle victim
reports 5 ninja-style

A Kapoho Farm Lots man
says they took medical marijuana

By Rod Thompson

HILO >> Five armed men dressed like ninjas invaded a rural home south of Hilo Tuesday night, stealing medical marijuana and money at gunpoint, the victim told the Star-Bulletin.

A police statement confirmed a robbery in which armed suspects assaulted a man at Kapoho Farm Lots and took "cash and other items."

The statement did not mention marijuana.

Puna District Capt. Elroy Osorio declined to comment on the alleged ninja style of the intruders or about stolen marijuana. Ninja refers to a class of warriors whose origins date back to 12th-century Japan.

The 54-year-old victim, who asked that his name not be used, told the Star-Bulletin that he and his 40-year-old wife, both former military intelligence specialists, live on a 5-acre farm lot.

Art Sometime after 8:30 p.m., his dogs were barking and he went to his door. As he opened it, a man punched him in the mouth twice, he said.

Five men dressed like ninjas crowded into his house, he said. They wore black or dark caps and sunglasses with black shirts, pants and boots, he said. Two were short, two medium and one big, in their late teens to late 20s, he said.

One pointed a gun at his stomach, and another pointed a gun at his wife's head, the victim said.

Two had Russian-designed AK-47 assault rifles, identifiable by their curving ammunition clips, and one had a pump-action shotgun, he said. His wife also saw a .45-caliber handgun, he said.

One demanded, "Show us where the money is."

They apparently thought he had a commercial marijuana operation, the victim said. In fact, he had eight mature plants and some small immature plants.

The intruders took the mature plants and $400, he said.

Except for the two punches, he and his wife were not injured.

The man declined to say why he or his wife use marijuana for medicine. He did say his wife is disabled and is barely able to walk.

They also grow marijuana for one other medical user, he said. Under state law a person with appropriate state cards can possess three mature plants and four immature plants per medical marijuana user.

The state Narcotics Enforcement Division said it does not release the names of people to whom it has issued medical marijuana cards.

The Rev. Dennis Shields of Kona, an advocate of religious and medical marijuana, said he has visited the victim at his home and seen the man's medical marijuana card.

Kapoho Farm Lots is a quiet subdivision 22 miles south of Hilo. The shoreline of adjoining Kapoho Vacationland is a series of safe, publicly accessible tidal pools.

"You can take Grandma in those tide pools," said former Neighborhood Watch coordinator Denise Jones.

Mayor Harry Kim, who owns a home in Vacationland, was the 1997 president of the community association. His house there was burglarized three times in recent years, and he found a bullet hole in a window, he said.

E-mail to City Desk


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