Star-Bulletin staff and wire

Grant to help endangered island species

Applications for grants to help private landowners benefit Hawaii's endangered plant and wildlife species are being accepted through the end of the month.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Landowner Incentive Program provides funding and technical assistance to enhance, protect or restore habitats for at-risk species on private lands.

Applications will be accepted through Oct. 31. The matching grants require landowners to contribute a minimum of 25 percent of the project's cost.

For an application, go to www.state.hi.us/dlnr/dofaw/LIP or call 587-4171.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff


Suspect charged in burning of neighbor

A man who allegedly tried to kill his neighbor by setting him ablaze was charged with first-degree attempted murder yesterday.

According to a police affidavit, Keith Yamamoto, 40, flagged down a police officer on Lusitana Street and told him that he had just "set his neighbor on fire" on Monday at about 10:30 a.m.

Police later located the victim, Lai "Peter" Leong, 37, who said that he was getting ready to leave for work from his Bush Lane home with his wife, sister, and daughter when a blue truck stopped behind his car, preventing him from reversing out of his carport. Yamamoto did not specify why he was angry with Leong, according to the affidavit.

Leong told police that he recognized the truck as belonging to Yamamoto and that the suspect got out of his truck and approached the victim's car with a spear gun, according to the affidavit. Yamamoto then dropped the spear gun and smashed both a rear window and the driver's side window of Leong's car.

Leong then said Yamamoto threw a liquid on him and set his shirt on fire, after which Leong exited his vehicle and ran down Bush Lane toward Lusitana with Yamamoto chasing him.

According to the affidavit, Leong removed his shirt and escaped by jumping in the vehicle of a passing motorist.

Yamamoto had been chasing Leong when he came across a police officer and surrendered. Yamamoto is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.


Man arrested after allegedly slashing wife

Police arrested a 33-year-old man for suspicion of second-degree attempted murder and assault Monday after he allegedly cut his estranged wife's neck, police said.

The incident happened about 8 a.m. when the man visited the 31-year-old woman at her Maipalaoa Street workplace and pleaded that they continue their relationship, according to police. After a brief conversation, the suspect grabbed a knife from a bathroom, shoved the victim to the ground then cut her neck, police said.

A witness who tried to intervene suffered lacerations to his right hand. The victim ran off and flagged down a passing motorist.

The suspect unsuccessfully tried to stop the victim from leaving, then fled to a Nanakuli residence where he called police to surrender, according to police.

When officers arrived they said the suspect had blood on his hands, legs, and clothes and told them "I cut my wife's neck," police said.

The victim was later treated and released from the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center for a laceration to her neck.


Female body found in Waikoloa Villas

A Big Island patrol officer found the partially decomposed body of woman Monday in the corner of the Waikoloa Villas housing complex parking lot, police said.

The body was found about 2:46 p.m. Her identity has not yet been determined.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Juergen Canda at 326-4646, ext. 277, or the police non-emergency number at 935-3311.

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers



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