comscore Police arrest 5 after group attempts to storm into Office of Hawaiian Affairs building | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Police arrest 5 after group attempts to storm into Office of Hawaiian Affairs building

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now
  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Office of Hawaiian Affairs offices on lockdown after the group Kingdom of Atooi attempted to storm into the Na Lama Kukui building this afternoon. Hinaleimoana Wong and son Hina Yam-Lum offered a prayer inside the building and condemned the protest.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Honolulu police officers wrapped up their investigation at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The offices were stormed by 13 people with the Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi, witnesses said.

Honolulu police arrested five men and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs headquarters were on lockdown after a sovereignty group stormed the Nimitz Highway building and tried to establish some kind of blockade.

A dozen or so members of a group known as Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi tried to force entry to the headquarters at about 11 a.m. before assaulting at least two staff members and harassing and verbally threatening others.

Police arrested four men, ranging in age from 27 to 62, at 1:45 p.m. on suspicion of third-degree assault. Their bail was set at $100 each. A fifth man, age 39, was arrested on suspicion of harassment.

All five remained in police custody at 5:19 p.m., said Michelle Yu, spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department.

“It was very traumatizing and emotional for our employees,” said Kamana‘opono Crabbe, OHA chief executive officer.

Two male staff members were attacked, including a 38-year-old who complained of pain but declined treatment, authorities said.

Dozens of police officers responded to the scene, blocking access to the offices while the incident continued for a couple of hours.

Those arrested were cited for assault and trespassing, according to OHA.

“On behalf of the board and the administration, we take this matter very seriously to protect our employees,” Crabbe said. “We want to thank HPD for responding so quickly.”

During the incident, some businesses in the building at 560 N. Nimitz Highway were told to close, and OHA staff members were released for the day, sources said.

The event comes on the 126th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. Hundreds of people marched from Mauna Ala to Iolani Palace today.

OHA Trustee Brendon Kaleiʻina Lee said it was sad this incident was going to dominate the news instead of the peaceful march and celebration.

Crabbe said the Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi group had appeared at the OHA headquarters two weeks ago with concerns, but that it was his belief that they had reached a mutual understanding. Why they returned today is unclear, he said.

“We can’t respond to what their motives were,” he said.

Crabbe said OHA would be working with HPD to improve security going forward.

Hawaiian community leader Hinaleimoana Wong condemned the action by the Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi.

“I question their integrity, I question their logic and I question their complete lack of leadership and the negative precedent that this sets for the Hawaiian community,” she said.

Comments (53)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up