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In Brief | Big Island & State | 4-5-14

Updated: 
April 5, 2014 - 12:05am

Sketch released of man who accosted woman

Hawaii Island police released a sketch of a man believed to have accosted a woman in the Puna District in February.

On Feb. 5, police spoke with a 19-year-old Pahoa woman who reported to police that earlier in the evening, and while walking along Kahakai Boulevard near Da Store, a dark colored sedan pulled alongside of her and a Caucasian male exited the vehicle. The man brandished a knife and threatened the victim, who walked away. The driver and the vehicle left the area, driving in the makai direction on Kahakai Boulevard. The victim was not injured in the incident.

The man was described as being about 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing about 140 pounds with short brown hair and a medium build.

The vehicle may be a Honda or Toyota.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section are continuing the investigation, which is classified as a first degree terroristic threatening case.

Police ask that anyone with information on this incident or the identity of the suspect to call the nonemergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Norbert Serrao of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 961-2383 or nserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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

Police investigating stabbing in Kona

Hawaii Island police are investigating a stabbing incident involving three people that resulted in two of them being sent to the hospital.

Officers responding to a 10:10 p.m. call Thursday at the intersection of Alii Drive and Kahakai Road discovered a 43-year-old Kailua-Kona man with a laceration to his abdomen and back, and a 38-year-old Kailua-Kona man with a laceration to his abdomen, being treated by Fire Department rescue personnel.

Both men were transported to the Kona Community Hospital where they were treated for their injuries and then released.

Police arrested the 43-year-old man on suspicion of two counts of second-degree assault. He is being held in the Kona police cellblock while detectives continue the investigation. West Hawaii Today is not identifying the man because he has not yet been charged with a crime.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case contact Detective Scott Kurashige at 326-4646, ext. 304, or skurashige@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Police searching for missing Keaau woman

Hawaii Island police are searching for a 24-year-old woman who was reported missing.

Karissa Hirahara of a Keaau address was last seen in Keaau on March 24. She is described as Japanese, 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 170 to 175 pounds with long black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a pink sleeveless shirt with a brown jacket with laces on the sleeves and black shorts.

She may be in the lower Puna area and has a medical condition that requires medication.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the police department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311 or Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2378.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

House passes smoking ban in public housing

HONOLULU — Residents in public housing might soon have a harder time finding a place to smoke.

The Hawaii House approved Friday a proposal to ban smoking in public housing.

Rep. Scott Saiki said the proposed ban reflects a growing trend in high-rise condominiums that have banned smoking.

Under the bill, all new leases and permits for public housing must state that smoking is prohibited. If a tenant violates the rule, he or she could be evicted.

Opponents say smokers shouldn’t be thrown out on the street. Rep. Gene Ward said the bill lacks aloha.

Senate Bill 651 was already approved by the Senate, but because the House changed the bill, the chambers must agree on any changes before sending it to the governor for his approval.

Kauai councilman settles suit for $290K

HONOLULU — A Kauai councilman is agreeing to a $290,000 settlement in his lawsuit claiming his civil rights were violated for going against political foes.

Councilman Timothy Bynum sued the county in 2012, saying he was unfairly charged with zoning violations at his home because he was critical of former Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho.

The settlement was scheduled to be put on the record during a hearing in federal court in Honolulu on Friday. Bynum’s attorney Margery Bronster said the county asked for it to be postponed.

According to court documents filed by Bronster, both sides agreed to settle the suit in February. The documents say the defendants must pay Bynum $290,000 by April 15.

Spokeswoman Sarah Blane said the county generally doesn’t comment on pending legal matters.

Bomb threat prompts evacuation of buildings

HONOLULU — A bomb threat near downtown Honolulu required the evacuation of the federal building and a state courthouse.

State Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz said a phone call was made to 911 at about 5:45 a.m. Friday reporting a bomb threat.

Schwartz said sheriff’s deputies searched the Circuit Court building and found nothing suspicious.

Local and federal authorities determined there was also no threat at the federal building across the street.

Schwartz said the all-clear was given just before 7:30 a.m. and people were allowed back into both buildings.

The evacuation closed Rainbow School, a child care and preschool facility in the federal building. School officials notified parents the center would be closed for the day.

2 suspected of Oahu storage unit burglaries

HONOLULU — Honolulu police say two men are believed to be responsible for dozens of burglaries at Oahu storage units.

Hawaii News Now says no arrests have been made, but police say they know who the suspects are.

The storage unit burglaries began late last year and have increased recently.

There were nearly 30 burglaries last month and five in the first few days of April.

There were burglaries at 18 storage units at the Public Storage location on Kapiolani Boulevard sometime Sunday night or early Monday morning when the facility was closed.

The burglars entered the building despite security measures that include surveillance cameras.

By local and wire sources