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Police and Fire


Fleeing suspect gets stuck in trash

Prosecutors charged a 45-year-old man who got stuck in a trash chute while trying to evade police in Waikiki.

Walter E. Haas, of 1717 Ala Wai Blvd., was charged Friday with abuse of a family member, kidnapping and two counts of first-degree terroristic threatening. He was being held on $40,000 bail.

Police said Haas woke up his 70-year-old uncle in their apartment and asked for money about 1:30 a.m. Thursday. When his uncle said no, Haas held him in a bear hug even though he recently had heart surgery, police said.

He let him go and allegedly grabbed an 8-inch kitchen knife and said he was going to kill his uncle, who escaped. Haas then threatened his other uncle, 69, with the knife, police said.

Haas barricaded himself in the apartment using furniture, police said, but when officers got through the door, he dashed onto the balcony, scaled several stories and made his way into a trash chute.

About an hour later, officers were about to leave the scene when they heard Haas, who was stuck, calling for help. Firefighters had to retrieve him.

Police arrested him about 4:15 a.m. and took him to the hospital for minor scrapes and abrasions. His 70-year-old uncle complained of chest pain but declined treatment.

Haas has five convictions, including for two counts of disorderly conduct, drugs and assault, according to the state criminal database.

Boyfriend accused in kidnapping

A 39-year-old Waianae Valley man was in police custody after allegedly assaulting and holding his girlfriend against her will for nearly 20 hours Thursday.

After suspecting the victim of infidelity, the man prevented her from leaving their home, and then assaulted her, police said. She was detained from about 2 a.m. to 10 p.m., police said.

The woman was taken to the hospital with undisclosed injuries.

The man was arrested at the scene and is being investigated for kidnapping, assault and terroristic threatening.


Suspect in sex assaults going to trial

A 27-year-old Kapaa man is set to go to trial after he was indicted by a grand jury for allegedly sexually assaulting women and teens after he posed as a photographer on a social media network to lure and force them to have sex with him.

Leonard Alpeche Jr. is scheduled to appear in Circuit Court on April 18 before Judge Kathleen Watanabe. He was indicted on 16 charges involving sexual assault, kidnapping and extortion.

Alpeche, who used several aliases, allegedly offered modeling opportunities online for an anonymous underground modeling agency. One victim was a 24-year-old Princeville woman who told law enforcement that Alpeche forced her to have sex by threatening to release nude photos he took of her.

Officer cited for solving 2 burglaries

Big Island patrol officer Joseph Passmore, who solved an unreported burglary while investigating another burglary, has been recognized as "Officer of the Month" by the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaii.

In November, Passmore was assigned to investigate a burglary in Keaau. He found all the stolen items, except a firearm, at a suspect’s home and persisted until eventually uncovering the weapon, police said.

In the house, he noticed professional sound equipment that seemed out of place. By using his contacts, he discovered the items had been stolen from a private school, but school officials had been aware only that sheet metal was missing. Further investigation led to recovery of the sheet metal.

Sgt. Darrel Huston, who nominated Passmore for the honor, said his "keen investigative skills" helped solve the burglaries.


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