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Home fire blamed on return attacker

  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM
    A Pearl City stabbing victim escapes an arson fire, leaving guns and drugs.
  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM
    A man was hospitalized in critical condition yesterday after an early morning fire at the Pearl City home above.
  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM
    An early morning fire scorched much of the living room of this home on 3rd Street in Pearl City.
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A man who was stabbed twice and left to die in his home that was set on fire early yesterday may have confronted his attacker at the same Pearl City residence four days earlier, according to the victim’s landlady.

The man, identified by his landlady as David Davis, 52, remained in the hospital last night in critical condition with extensive burns and multiple stab wounds.

Police arrested a suspect, a 41-year-old Waipahu man, near Fort Derussy Beach Park in Waikiki at about 8 p.m. last night

He was being held on attempted murder, arson and criminal property damage charges.

Nova Jean McKenzie, the victim’s landlady, said Davis had called her Thursday to notify her that an associate at his towing company had come to the house that afternoon and damaged the front door and the front window with a hammer.

Police were called and a report was filed, McKenzie said. 

"Evidently, he had a squabble with his manager," she said.

While police declined to speak to reporters about the case, McKenzie said it appears the man who went to confront Davis on Thursday returned early yesterday.

The victim was able to identify his attacker before he left for the hospital, a patrol officer at the scene said.

 

The fire was reported at 12:57 a.m. at the one-story wooden house at 920 3rd St., said fire Capt. Robert Main.

The victim was found in the backyard of the home and apparently dove through a window to escape the flames, Main said.

It appeared that Davis jumped out the bathroom window because the flames started in the front of the house and the back door was blocked by boxes, McKenzie said. Blood was smeared on the wall and other areas toward the back of the house. McKenzie said she believes Davis was trying to keep himself from collapsing.

A bloodstained cloth remained in the backyard grass hours later.

A fire official later said an investigator determined that the fire was probably set and that damage to the house was put at $185,000.
About 21 guns and a locked safe were taken from the charred remains of the house, McKenzie said. She said she also learned from police that there apparently were drugs and drug paraphernalia in the house.

McKenzie and her daughter, Sheila Kurosu, were trying to figure out why the David Davis they knew had guns and drugs in the house he rented from McKenzie.

Davis and his wife, Serena, are "a very, very nice couple," McKenzie said. The wife, who is pregnant, worked as a translator with the U.S. Justice Department. She recently moved to Bangkok, where she’s from. Davis was supposed to join her at the end of the month, she said.

Following the Thursday incident, Davis told McKenzie that the dispute was over $900 that the suspect owed Davis.

But after everything they learned yesterday, Kurosu said, "We think there’s more involved, but we really don’t know."

Davis is the one-time owner of 24-7 Towing, located at the end of Awanei Street.

David Davis was listed as the president and owner of the company, according to 2009 state business registration filings.

But in a 2010 filing dated July 7, another man was listed as the owner.

Efforts to reach the new owner were unsuccessful yesterday.

Last October, a man barricaded himself on the grounds of the Awanei Street towing company after police responded to a call of shots fired.

The standoff lasted about seven hours, and families living in apartments on the street were evacuated to a Red Cross emergency shelter set up at a nearby recreation center.

Specialized Services police officers were called to the scene, but crisis negotiators managed to coax the man off the premises.

 

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