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In Brief | Big Island & State | 12-27-13

December 26, 2013 - 8:31pm

High surf advisory remains in effect

A high surf advisory remains in effect for west-facing shores of Hawaii Island through 6 p.m. today, according to the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

The service forecast waves ranging in height from 5 to 8 feet along the Kona Coast.

The service categorized the surf’s impact as “moderate,” advising the public to expect strong breaking waves and strong rip currents that can make swimming dangerous. Beachgoers, swimmers and surfers should heed all advice given by ocean safety officials.

Man charged in alleged stalking incident

A 55-year-old Waimea man has been charged with eight offenses in connection with a harassment by stalking incident that reportedly occurred last week.

Tuesday afternoon, John Amina was charged with first-degree criminal property damage, first-degree terroristic threatening, harassment by stalking, second-degree reckless endangering, reckless driving, promoting a dangerous drug, possessing drug paraphernalia and driving without a license, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. He was released after posting $14,750 bail on Wednesday.

The charges stem from Dec. 17, when police received several calls reporting that a green sedan was being chased through Waimea by a green Dodge van. Investigation revealed that the driver of the van attempted to pull over the new boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend to instigate a fight.

The van attempted to block the car and collided with it on several occasions until the victim was able to make his way to the parking lot of the Waimea police station, according to police. At that time, the suspect fled in the van.

On Monday, South Kohala patrol officers, who were conducting a seat belt enforcement operation in Waimea, stopped the suspect in the Dec. 17 incident, and arrested him on suspicion of five counts of first-degree terroristic threatening, one count each of criminal property damage, reckless driving, accident involving a vehicle and property, harassment by stalking, driving without a license, promoting a detrimental drug, two counts each of promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia, according to police.

Man charged in connection with Kona burglary, assault

A 22-year-old man arrested Monday after a reported burglary at a Kona condominium has been charged with six offenses.

Ian Medeiros was charged Tuesday afternoon with second-degree theft, resisting arrest, first-degree assault of a police officer, first-degree terroristic threatening, promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. His bail was set at $10,500.

At 7:16 a.m. Monday, police received a report of a burglary at a condo on the 75-6000 block of Kuakini Highway in Kailua-Kona, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. Sometime during the night, an unknown person had entered a unit in the condo through an unlocked door and stolen several items — including a jewelry box, ukulele and cellphones — while the residents were asleep.

At 9:25 a.m. Monday, investigating officers were called back to the same condo complex in response to a report of a man sleeping behind a garage. An officer made contact with the man and noticed items in his possession matching the description of items taken during the burglary, according to police.

While the officer attempted to place the man under arrest, the man allegedly resisted and struck the officer in the head, causing a laceration and swelling, according to police. A second officer arrived at the scene and assisted the first officer in subduing the suspect and placing him under arrest. Hawaii County Fire Department personnel treated the officer, whose injuries were described as minor, at the scene.

Police seek witnesses to crash in Honomu

Hawaii Island police are asking for help locating witnesses to a head-on collision Sunday on Highway 19 near the Akaka Falls Road junction in Honomu.

The crash, reported at 9:53 a.m., involved a Pontiac Vibe traveling southbound and a Toyota Camry traveling northbound, according to the Hawaii County Police Department.

The driver of the Pontiac, a 20-year-old Honomu woman, was taken to Hilo Medical Center with serious injuries, as were the driver of the Toyota, a 67-year-old Hilo woman, and her two passengers, a 69-year-old Hilo man and a 75-year-old Hilo woman, according to police.

Police have initiated negligent injury investigations in connection with this crash.

Anyone with information about this crash should call Officer Gabriel Wilson at 961-2213 or the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Police order autopsy in fatal Christmas Eve fire

Hawaii Island police have ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death and identify a body found Tuesday evening after firefighters extinguished a structure fire in the Edec Roc subdivision of Puna.

At 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, police and firefighters responded to a report of a structure fire on Palainui Street and after extinguishing the flames discovered a badly burned body inside, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. Detectives continue to investigate the cause of the blaze.

Hilo man facing theft, forgery charges

A 33-year-old Hilo man is facing theft and forgery charges stemming from the July theft of a check.

In July, South Hilo patrol officers responded to a financial institution in Hilo for a report that a man had cashed two stolen checks on two separate days, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. The checks were from an invalid account that had been closed for five years.

Cheavis Kataoka, who lives in the Hilo area, was arrested Monday and held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 9:26 a.m. Tuesday, detectives charged Kataoka with fourth-degree theft and two counts each third-degree forgery, second-degree identity theft, and second-degree theft, according to police. His bail was set at $75,000.

Governor appoints new Hawaii agriculture board chairman

HONOLULU — The governor is appointing a new chairman of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.

Scott Edward Enright has been named to replace Russell Kokubun, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Enright’s appointment Thursday. The appointment is subject to state Senate confirmation.

Abercrombie touted the Hamakua Coast resident’s agricultural experience, including his efforts to develop the state’s grass-fed beef industry.

Enright has served as Kokubun’s deputy since February 2012. His previous experience includes working as a consultant for the Hawaii Sustainable Agriculture and Renewable Energy Project and as a cultivation and irrigation superintendent for the Hamakua Sugar Company.

He earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and philosophy from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Dwarf sperm whale washes ashore on Maui

KIHEI, Maui — A 7-foot-long beached whale was euthanized Christmas Day on Maui.

The Maui News reported the dwarf whale washed ashore before hundreds of beachgoers at Kamaole Beach Park II in Kihei.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine mammal health and response program manager David Schofield said the whale was euthanized Wednesday night by a veterinarian from Oahu.

Schofield said the carcass is being taken to Hawaii Pacific University for analysis.

Canadian visitor Karen Baylis saw three men trying to lift the beached whale back into the ocean at around 1:30 p.m. Baylis was sitting on the balcony of a nearby condominium with her nephew and rushed down to help the men.

She remembered grabbing the whale and being covered in blood.

By local and wire sources