Police, Fire, Courts

Star-Bulletin staff and wire

Samurai swordsman is ruled unfit for trial

A homeless man, accused of slashing one man with a 28-inch samurai sword and attempting to cut a Maui police officer, has been declared mentally unfit for trial and taken to the Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe.

Maui 2nd Circuit Court Judge Shackley Raffetto made the ruling Tuesday based on three psychological reports of Casey Strom Nies, who was arrested Aug. 26.

Nies was shot in the hip by police in a store parking lot in Kihei Aug. 26 after he allegedly refused to drop his sword and tried to cut police officer Ernest Grace.

Kihei resident Asitamani Tupola said he challenged the man to a fight to get him outside the store. Tupola said the man cut him on the temple with the sword.

Nies will be evaluated twice monthly by psychiatrists while at the hospital, Deputy Public Defender Barry Porter said yesterday.

Criminal proceedings for Nies have been put on hold, and he would only be brought back to court if he is declared mentally fit, Porter said.

Before being transferred to the Hawaii State Hospital, Nies was being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center.

Weekend forecast warns of flash flooding

State Civil Defense is advising residents to prepare for heavy rains and possible flash flooding Saturday.

The National Weather Service is forecasting that heavy rains could begin late Saturday and continue for several days.

The city, anticipating the rains, canceled this weekend's Sunset on the Beach events. Both movies, "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Lara Croft, Tomb Raider," will be shown next weekend.

Civil Defense officials say that residents, especially those in flood-prone areas, should take the following protective measures:

>> Park cars in high areas, not near streams or where water collects.

>> Place valuable items and computer equipment above ground-floor level.

>> Prepare to use sandbags or other methods to divert water.

>> Evacuate if flooding poses a health or safety hazard.

>> Stay tuned to local broadcast stations for weather information.



>> The Bank of Hawaii Charitable Foundation has awarded $4,000 to the J. Walter Cameron Center in Wailuku, Maui. The center houses and supports other nonprofit agencies that provide assistance in health and social services.

The funds will be used to construct a wheelchair-accessible bathroom and warm-water therapy pool for a program being developed for stroke victims and arthritis sufferers.

>> Bishop Museum has received several grants from the following organizations: $90,000 over three years from the Hawaii Community Foundation to build a major donor program; $10,000 from Verizon to support its Holoholo Science Program, an educational outreach program; $25,000 from the Gannett Foundation for educational programming; and $30,000 from the Victoria S. & Bradley L. Geist Foundation to support the museum's family and educational programs.

At left, Bank of Hawaii's Glenn Yamasaki, vice president of Investment Services Group, and Alvin Imada, vice president and Maui District sales manager, present a $4,000 grant check to Audrey Rocha-Reed, president and CEO of the J. Walter Cameron Center on Maui.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu police retrieved an officer's motorcycle after he was hit by a Nissan sedan near Aupuni and North School streets yesterday morning. Fire crews said the officer was forced to lay down his bike to try to avoid the oncoming car. The officer was treated for leg injuries at the Queen's Medical Center and was listed in stable condition. The female driving the Nissan was unhurt.

Police search for suspect in North Kona bank heist

KEAUHOU, Hawaii >> A robber got away with an undetermined amount of cash yesterday after demanding money at the KTA Super Store branch of the Bank of Hawaii in Keauhou, North Kona, police said.

Police received a call at 9:40 a.m. that the man had walked up to the bank window and handed a teller a note demanding money. He walked out of the store with the cash and disappeared, they said.

No weapon was seen and no one was injured, they said.

The suspect was described as in his late 20s or early 30s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, about 190 pounds, wearing a long-sleeved shirt, shorts and baseball cap.

Police asked anyone with information to call 935-3311 or CrimeStoppers at 329-8181.

Big Isle police looking for suspect and inmate

HILO >> Big Island police are looking for two men wanted in separate incidents since Tuesday, a drug suspect who escaped during a raid on his home, and an inmate who escaped from the minimum-security Hale Nani Correctional Facility south of Hilo.

Police conducted a raid on the Wainaku Avenue home of Brian Wade Pacheco at 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, they said. While three people tried to get away in a pickup truck and a woman tried to flee on foot, Pacheco was able to run toward the nearby Hawaii Belt Road and get away, they said.

Police found 5.8 grams of crystal methamphetamine at the house, 2.2 grams of crack cocaine and paraphernalia such as a digital scale, plastic bags and plastic straws cut to serve as small spoons. A woman, 24, was arrested and held on an outstanding warrant, and a man, 52, was arrested and released pending further investigation, police said.

In a separate incident, police were looking for Brian Lee Patrick, 32, who escaped from Hale Nani on Tuesday.

He was described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, 200 pounds, with a fair complexion and short brown hair. Anyone with information is asked to call 961-2213 or CrimeStoppers at 961-8300.


Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

E-mail to City Desk


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