Friday, November 27, 2015         

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Mother blames drugs for son's crime spree

Scott Lee faces robbery and other charges in an incident that closed part of a highway

By Rob Shikina


The mother of a 30-year-old Enchanted Lake man charged in a crime spree that closed Kamehameha Highway in Kaaawa for about three hours Wednesday blamed drugs and the system for failing to help her son.

Sandra Cooper of Waikane said Scott Lee had struggled with drugs from about age 12 and never found help when he entered the penal system as a teen.

At 19 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for burglary and continued to use drugs inside. He entered a treatment program but was kicked out after being implicated in something his cellmate was involved in, his mother said. Lee tried to re-enter the program but was put on a wait list, she said.

He was released in August after reaching the end of his sentence and got a job but turned to drugs again, Cooper said.

"That child has been through hell and back," she said. "It's all drug-related. They had more drugs in prison than they had out here."

About two days before the incident, Lee told his nephew that he wanted police to kill him, probably because he could not quit drugs and felt he had let his parents down, Cooper said.

Lee, of Kahili Street, remained at the main police station yesterday on $200,000 bail, pending an initial court appearance. He is charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree burglary and two counts of use of a firearm in a felony.

Police said Lee confronted a man with a rifle at a home on Kamehameha Highway at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and demanded money before fleeing with some of the man's property. He tried to stop several vehicles on Kamehameha Highway and punched a 19-year-old woman who refused to stop, police said.

Lee ducked into an empty home nearby until SWAT officers called him out at about 4:30 p.m., police said.

Cooper said since Lee got out of prison, she has called three drug programs to help her son, but they all refused to help, saying he needs to want assistance.

She said parents should be given the authority to have the police pick up their adult children and put them into a drug treatment facility.

"He could not get off drugs," she said. "I had no authority over my own child. He was too far gone to even know he needed help. There was no one to intervene, nobody to enforce it until he did something wrong and got arrested."

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