State Land Board Chairman William Aila said he will seek fines against two people who damaged a front door of Iolani Palace and made their way into the historic building Sunday morning.
“We need to send a strong message to the folks out there that the palace is to be respected,” Aila said Monday. “It is a sacred site to many Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians as well.”
State law governing historic sites allows for fines of up to $10,000 against anyone who damages a historical or cultural property if a person does so knowingly and intentionally, Aila said. “It certainly was intentional.”
Palace surveillance cameras showed a woman kicking and smashing the glass panes of one of two, left side doors on the front side of the palace with enough exertion to force open the door about 8 a.m. Saturday, palace Executive Director Kippen de Alba Chu said. The woman and a man who was with her then entered the Great Hall of the palace before attempting to flee as palace guards pursued and captured them.
At one point, the woman shouted to the guards “This is my house!”
Police arrested a Hawaii Kai woman, 20, and a man with no address, 30, on suspicion of felony criminal property damage and trespassing. They were released on those charges pending investigation but were held by police on unrelated misdemeanor bench warrants stemming from outstanding citations for violating park closure rules and illegal placement of tents in parks, according to Dave Koga, a spokesman for the city prosecutor’s office.
The two appeared in Honolulu District Court on Monday and pleaded guilty on the charges. They were credited for time served and set free.