Hookena assaults 02-23-07

326-4646, EXT. 249
FEBRUARY 23, 2007


Kona police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the people responsible for several misdemeanor assaults at Hookena Beach Park on January 27. Multiple campers at the park reported that a group of men in their 20s accosted them at the park.

The first victims reported at 7:32 p.m. that they had been assaulted at the park and were on their way to Kona Community Hospital. As officers were taking the victims’ statements at the hospital, police received an 8:05 p.m. call from other victims at the beach who requested an ambulance.

Five officers and a Fire Department ambulance arrived together at Hookena Beach Park at 8:37 p.m.

A total of six assault victims, including the ones at the hospital, filed reports with Kona police that night. The next day, three more victims filed assault reports stemming from the same incident.

Kona police have identified possible suspects based on witness descriptions and tips from the community and continue to pursue those leads.

"We take this incident very seriously," said Captain Paul Kealoha, Kona District commander. "Random crimes of this nature are isolated and we intend to keep it that way by apprehending the responsible parties, thus deterring this type of criminal behavior."

Since the date of the assaults, police have been conducting surveillance at Hookena Beach Park using both uniformed and plain-clothed officers. They also have made several arrests at the park unrelated to the actual assaults.

Police are continuing their investigation into the nine misdemeanor assaults. They ask anyone with information about these cases to call Officer Darren Cho at 326-4646 extension 253.

Chief Lawrence K. Mahuna said police are dedicated to preserving the aloha spirit.  "We do not tolerate attacks on campers or anyone else," Mahuna said.  "We are investigating these cases and will take every measure, both reactive and proactive ones, to see that the individuals responsible for these assaults are brought to justice."


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