Local news in brief for Thursday, May 2, 2024

Ocean View man charged with kidnapping

Police have arrested and charged 50-year-old Ian Benjamin Winther of Ocean View with kidnapping and other offenses for a violent incident that occurred Monday in Ocean View.


At about 4:35 p.m. Monday, Ka‘u Patrol officers responded to King Kalakaua on a report of a woman who had been assaulted by an acquaintance. Police determined that the victim, a 27-year old Ocean View woman, had been bound with duct tape and physically assaulted by Winther at a King Kalakaua Lane residence where she and Winther were staying.

The woman reported that Winther allowed her to free herself from the tape but continued to physically assault her and threatened to conduct lewd sexual acts on her. He then allegedly used rope to tie the victim to a chair and threatened her while he continued to physically assault her.

Winther left the house with the victim still tied to the chair, police said. The woman was able to free herself and summon help at a neighboring residence.

She sustained non-life-threatening injuries and sought medical treatment on her own.

Winther was arrested early Wednesday morning, and a search warrant was conducted on the residence, resulting in the recovery of items believed to be used in the incident.

Winter was charged Wednesday with kidnapping, domestic abuse, third-degree assault and first-degree terroristic threatening.

His bail was set at $143,000, and he’s scheduled to make his initial appearance in Kona District court today.

Police seek more info on December homicide

Police detectives continue to investigate an unsolved December 2023 homicide, according to a Hawaii Police Department release issued Wednesday.

Shortly before 4:45 p.m. Dec. 3, South Hilo patrol officers responded to a report of an unresponsive man seated in a vehicle on a banana farm above Alae Cemetery in Hilo.

The victim, 68-year-old Albert Harry Pacheco Sr., an employee of the farm, was found to have a single gunshot wound to his upper thigh area.

An autopsy found the manner of death was a homicide and the case is being investigated as a second-degree murder.

Detectives have interviewed numerous witnesses, including employees of the farm and neighboring properties.

Police have not yet identified a motive or suspect in this case.

Anyone who may have information relative to this case is asked to call the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer anonymity may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Fires destroy two East Hawaii houses

Structure fires destroyed two East Hawaii homes in the past couple of days, according to the Hawaii Fire Department.

At 8:04 p.m. Tuesday evening, five units responded to a fire on Kiele Street in Orchidland Estates subdivision in Puna, with the first unit on scene at 8:25 p.m.

Arriving firefighters found the 600-square-foot, single-story wooden structure completely engulfed in flames and fully collapsed.

The fire was reported under control at 9:05 p.m. and extinguished at 9:10 p.m.

No occupants were at the scene, and no injuries were reported.

There was no estimate of property loss reported, and the cause of the fire, according to HFD, is unknown.

Then, at 2:27 a.m. Wednesday, 12 units — including a fire inspector — responded to a fire at 41 Manaolana Place in Hilo’s Kaumana neighborhood.

The first unit arrived on scene at 2:35 a.m. to find the 1,200-square-foot, single-story structure fully engulfed in flames.

According to HFD, the owner of the property was on scene and told firefighters the house was unoccupied. The fire department release said there was a possible squatter situation, however.

The fire was reported under control at 2:50 a.m. and extinguished at 5:26 a.m.

Property damage was estimated at $90,000, and the cause of the fire was listed as unknown and is under investigation.

Hilo woman cited for feeding feral cats

A Hilo woman was cited Wednesday for feeding feral cats, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Officers with DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, or DOCARE, cited Doreen Torres, 66, after spotting her feeding feral cats in Lil‘uokalani Park and Gardens in Hilo.

Torres was issued two citations for violating state endangered and threatened species laws, which prohibit the feeding of protected wildlife, since nene may eat the cat food.

Officers alleged Torres put out food for feral cats Wednesday morning and last Saturday.

DOCARE stepped up patrol in the park after it was reported last week that a 1-month-old nene gosling died there.

Toxoplasmosis, a disease carried in the feces of cats, is implicated in the gosling’s death, according to a necropsy performed by U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center.

Raymond McGuire, a wildlife biologist with the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, has taken it upon himself to remove paper plates full of cat food and dump them in the trash several days a week, several times a day.

“They continue to feed the cats, and it doesn’t seem like the loss of the gosling has really made a difference in how often they feed,” McGuire said in a press release. “We don’t want to go after them with fines and citations. But their actions are having a clear effect on our native wildlife and our threatened endangered wildlife.”

Torres is scheduled to appear in Hilo District Court on June 21. The charges against her are both misdemeanors.

Police arrest 17 for DUI

During the week of April 22-28, Hawaii Island police arrested 17 motorists for DUI. Five of the drivers were involved in a traffic accident. Two were younger than 21.

The numbers of arrests by district were: Kona, five; Puna, four; Hilo and South Kohala, three each; Ka‘u and North Kohala, one each.

So far this year, there have been 308 DUI arrests compared to 329 during the same period last year, a decrease of 6.4%.

There have been 321 major crashes so far this year, compared to 298 during the same time last year, an increase of 7.7%.

To date, there have 14 fatal crashes, resulting in 16 fatalities this year. That compares to seven fatal crashes resulting in eight fatalities for the same time last year. That’s an increase of 100% for both fatal crashes and fatalities.

DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue islandwide, police said.