Judge refuses to dismiss assault charges
Hawaii News | Newswatch

Judge refuses to dismiss assault charges

KAILUA-KONA >> A judge has denied a request from a police officer charged with assaulting his 72-year-old neighbor in Kailua-Kona to have the case thrown out.

Officer Jamie Harper’s attorney had sought to have the charges dismissed. He filed a motion to disqualify the prosecutor’s office from the case, citing personal and professional ties between Harper and members of the office. But Circuit Judge Ronald Ibarra denied the motion Thursday, West Hawaii Today reported Sunday. Ibarra determined that there had been no complaints of misconduct and that the relationship between Harper and the prosecutors was only as a witness in their cases.

The 39-year-old Hawaii Police Department officer was arrested Jan. 27 following a confrontation with the man at their apartment complex. Harper had reportedly gone up to the victim’s apartment and started a fight with him.

The victim suffered a broken nose and bruising to his right eye and arm, and needed stitches for a cut above his eye.

Harper was hospitalized for an undisclosed medical condition.

During the preliminary hearing, Harper testified he had gone to the man’s apartment because of loud noise. He said the man grabbed him at the door and that he took the man to the ground and restrained him, as per his training.

His trial date has been set for July 26.

Makena park reopens after boat salvage

Makena State Park was reopened Monday morning after an early morning helicopter salvage operation to remove a 19-foot boat that was grounded in April on an inaccessible area of the park’s shoreline between Big Beach and Little Beach.

The park was closed during the state Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation operation to ensure public safety.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources agency hired a contractor to secure the boat with lines and then lift it by helicopter to a truck parked in the parking lot. It was hauled to the company’s salvage yard, where it will be assessed.

The boat washed up on the rocky point between Big Beach and Little Beach just after 6 p.m. April 17. The boat’s operator was still on the vessel securing belongings and eventually got back to shore uninjured.

Australian man who drowned at Anini is ID’d

A 70-year-old visitor from Australia who drowned while snorkeling in waters off Kauai’s Anini Beach has been identified as Ronald John Bamber.

At about 5 p.m. Thursday, beachgoers spotted Bamber floating facedown in the water about 20 feet from the shoreline and called 911.

Bamber was unresponsive when bystanders brought him to shore and performed CPR. Firefighters and paramedics arrived and took over efforts to resuscitate Bamber but to no avail.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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