Sunday, November 29, 2015         


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Lifeguard arrested in incident that cleared beach in Waikiki

By June Watanabe


Question: At about 4:30 or 5 p.m. Friday, June 3, a bunch of police cars in Waikiki blocked off Kalakaua Avenue from Liliuokalani Avenue to Kapahulu Avenue and moved everyone off the beach and makai side. I asked bystanders what was going on and was told that a suspicious package was found on the beach, and police thought it might be a bomb. I then saw police leading a lifeguard in handcuffs to a police car. I couldn’t find any mention of the incident in the newspaper the next day. What happened?

Answer: The Honolulu Police Department responded at about 3:30 that afternoon to a report of a “suspicious bag” near a lifeguard stand, said spokeswoman Michelle Yu.

The bag turned out to be harmless. However, officers at the scene were waiting for HPD’s bomb detail to arrive to check the bag “when a male walked up to the bag and emptied its contents,” Yu said.

Because of that, he was arrested for obstructing a “government operation and tampering with evidence, and the bag was recovered by investigators.”

Yu declined to go into details except to say the person was released and the investigation is continuing.

Ralph Goto, administrator of the city Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division, confirmed the person arrested is a lifeguard. He also declined to say more because the case is still pending.

The Star-Advertiser did report the beach closing, albeit not the arrest, on its website under “breaking news” on June 3. News of that day was dominated by an apparent random shooting spree, in which a woman was killed.

Q: Can you find out what recourse we have after Ho‘onani Salon and Day Spa closed without notice? My husband bought $250 worth of their gift certificates for me. I did file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Ho‘onani had a huge sale on coupons before they closed down.

A: You should also file a complaint with the state Office of Consumer Protection.

Call 587-3222 or file a complaint online by going to

The office had received four complaints about the abrupt closure of the Kapahulu business as of last week, and the matter was under investigation, according to Jeffrey Brunton, OCP’s temporary acting executive director.

As we’ve reported previously, it’s iffy whether customers left holding gift certificates when a business unexpectedly closes can get refunds.

It depends on the situation, including whether gift certificates were being sold even though the owner knew the business would be closing.

See for more information.


To the woman who removed a metal tailgate that was on the Pali Highway at about 5:15 p.m. May 16. She ran out of her car in front of all of us waiting at the intersection and dragged it off the road before the light changed. It might seem like a small thing, but if my motorcycle had hit that tailgate, I would have been taken out. Her unselfish action was in complete contrast to the woman who, earlier that day, tailgated me while talking on her cellphone. When I confronted her about it, she just told me to “shut the f--- up.” Talk about a complete contrast.

— Timo Satola


To Carol Matsui, who went the extra mile to help us find our car after we saw our granddaughter graduate at the UH commencement May 13. It was dark when the ceremony ended, and we forgot where we parked our car. Ms. Matsui drove us (pure strangers) to several parking lots near the amphitheater until we spotted our car. Carol, you are an angel. God bless you!

— The Leus

Write to “Kokua Line” at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

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