Suspect deemed unfit for trial, committed to Hawaii State Hospital

  • Police Special Response Team responds to a situation of a man barricaded in a home on Ahulani St. Oct. 10. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Richard Gorloff is remanded to the Hawaii State Hospital in October for a mental evaluation. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today file photo)

KAILUA-KONA — A man whose alleged threats triggered a six-hour standoff with police in Kalaoa in October has been deemed unfit to proceed in an earlier, unrelated case, and committed to the Hawaii State Hospital.

Richard Denis Gorloff, 57, was deemed unfit to proceed in the July case Thursday morning by Kona Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim during a hearing in which the man appeared via videoconference from the Department of Health administered public psychiatric hospital on Oahu.

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According to court records, Gorloff at the time of the October incident was free on bail in connection with a July reckless endangering case that involved firearms. Gorloff, according to the complaint that alleges criminal property damage and firearms and protective order violations, intentionally fired a firearm recklessly placing a minor in danger of death of serious bodily injury and damaged a pickup truck and/or window “by means other than fire” on July 3.

Kim on Thursday based his decision upon reports submitted by psychiatrists Henry Yang and Andrew Bisset and psychologist Alex Lichton who evaluated the man. Neither Deputy Public Defender Ann Datta nor Hawaii County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kauanoe Jackson contested the findings.

With the judge’s finding, proceedings in the case are suspended pending a review hearing slated for Feb. 20. In committing Gorloff to the facility for “detention, care and treatment,” Kim cited he “presents risk of danger to the defendant or the person or property of others.”

Prior to setting the review hearing, the judge asked Gorloff if he had any questions to which the defendant told the judge, “No, but I feel fit,” before thanking Kim for his time.

Gorloff was indicted Nov. 6 by a Kona grand jury on three counts of first-degree terroristic threatening and one count each of second-degree terroristic threatening and violation of an order for protection in connection with the alleged incident Oct. 10.

He was taken into custody following a nearly six-hour standoff that ensued after police were sent to his Ahulani Street home after receiving a report from the man’s ex-wife that he’d threatened to kill her. Gorloff refused to exit his residence and reportedly told officers that if they came any closer, he would blow up the residence.

Neighboring homes were evacuated and the Hawaii Police Department’s Special Response and Crisis Negotiation teams were deployed. Gorloff surrendered without incident about six hours later and was taken to Kona Community Hospital for treatment of an undisclosed condition.

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He was charged Oct. 21, after his release from the hospital, with first-degree terroristic threatening, second-degree terroristic threatening and violating an order of protection in connection with the incident. The indictment, handed down Nov. 6, had yet to be served as of Wednesday.

A mental evaluation ordered in late October in the standoff case is pending with a return hearing set for mid-January. Gorloff has been at the hospital since late October when he was ordered to undergo the mental evaluation.

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