POSTED: 08:39 p.m. HST, Mar 17, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 12:48 a.m. HST, Mar 18, 2012
Members of former Gov. Ben Cayetano’s mayoral campaign say it’s no coincidence that eight gunshots were fired at the upper level glass window of the Cycle City motorcycle shop right at or near three of their campaign banners in recent days.
The gunshots did not puncture or shatter the custom-made tempered glass, but cracks show clearly where the bullets were fired. Several formed spiderweb cracks.
It appears the signs were targeted, given the location of the bullet cracks, said Walter Heen, a Cayetano campaign co-chairman.
Heen condemned the actions as an assault on the free speech rights of the business owner and said the campaign is putting up a $5,000 reward for information that might lead to the arrest of those responsible.
“I’ve seen some dirty tricks in my years, but this is about the lowest,” said Heen, a former judge and longtime Democratic stalwart. “This kind of activity has no place in Hawaii politics.”
Cayetano’s opponents in the race, Mayor Peter Carlisle, who is seeking re--elction; and Kirk Caldwell, a former acting mayor and legislator, also expressed strong disapproval.
Carlisle said the shots are “obviously a criminal act and should be pursued vigorously by law enforcement.”
“It’s despicable and unfortunate that someone would take this kind of action,” Caldwell said. “We don’t need fear in politics. We need engagement.”
Dan Ryan, Cycle City general manager, said one large cracked window was discovered by two employees on Thursday. The store decided to remove all three banners Saturday morning and that’s when employees discovered the other cracks, which had been obscured by the signs, Ryan said.