Hibiscus Drive violence could have been prevented, landlord’s friend says
After the reopening of Hibiscus Drive, a woman and man stood at a window overlooking the field of ashes where a few charred fragments and a white fence remained standing.
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Thursday morning on Hibiscus Drive, after the reopening of the street and restoration of power to homes for the first time since Sunday’s violence and raging fire, a woman and man stood at a window overlooking the field of ashes left where the blaze burned seven homes to the ground, where a few charred fragments and a sturdy white fence remained standing.
The window was in the scorched, peeling wall, beneath a section of sagging roof, of a house next door to 3015 Hibiscus Drive, where tenant Jerry “Jarda” Hanel allegedly beat two women, fatally shot two police officers and set off the fire, and where on Tuesday two sets of as-yet-unidentified human remains were found that might belong to Hanel and his landlord, Lois Cain, both missing since Sunday.
The two-story house belongs to Warren Daniel, who obtained three-year injunctions against harassment, or restraining orders, against Hanel in 2014 and 2018.
“Warren clearly felt physically threatened by Hanel,” said David Hayakawa, Daniel’s attorney. “He was attacked and shoved by Hanel, who broke (Daniel’s) shoulder.”
The many forms of harassment by Hanel, which prompted Hayakawa to obtain amendments to the restraining order, included barbecuing and burning leaves where the wind would blow the smoke and fire toward Daniel’s house; attaching noise-making objects to the fence and then to a tree along the fence line; stopping in front of the Daniel house and glaring at the family; and talking loudly, using offensive language, about such topics as pedophilia when the Daniel children were within earshot, arguing that he was speaking not to the children, but to his dog.
“The constant irrational behavior always left you wondering what was next,” Hayakawa said.
Still, in fairness, he added, “nobody expected the extreme step of beating the landlord and ambushing two police officers.”
But Cain’s friend of 20 years, Janice Morrow, who was staying with Cain upstairs in the house where Hanel lived in the basement, believed the tenant was mentally abusing and capable of physically harming her friend.
Morrow said she had visited the Waikiki police substation and called the state Department of Human
Services Adult Protective Services to complain that Hanel, 69, was perpetrating elder abuse against Cain, 77, and ask that he be removed from Cain’s home.
She told them Hanel had locked Cain out of her downstairs office, which she continued to enter by climbing up, removing louvers and crawling through a small side window. She believed Cain “was going to be murdered (by Hanel) or die” of a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation, for which Cain had been hospitalized for a week in the autumn, Morrow said.
DHS confirmed that on Dec. 30 its Adult Protective Services Intake Unit hotline received a call from a person alleging psychological abuse of a landlord by a tenant, DHS public information officer Amanda Stevens said in an email. Although the department could not release names for privacy reasons, she said, it could confirm that the call referred to the Cain landlord-tenant situation.
Stevens said that, based on the information the caller provided, the landlord did not meet the standards required for being considered a “vulnerable adult,” defined by Hawaii state law “as a person who is 18 years or older with a mental, developmental or physical impairment who is also unable to: 1) communicate or make responsible decisions to manage his or her own care or resources; 2) carry out or arrange for essential activities of daily living; or 3) protect oneself from abuse.”
However, “in the abundance of caution, APS contacted HPD to perform a wellness check on the landlord,” Stevens wrote, and HPD confirmed with APS that an officer conducted the wellness check that day.
The wellness check, Morrow said, was not followed up by the social worker visit or removal of Hanel she had urged.
“Nobody cared to get involved. … It took two police officers with young families brutally shot down, my sweet angel of a friend Lois and (part of) the neighborhood burned for anybody to take notice,” Morrow said.
Cain had served Hanel with an order of eviction notice the week before Hanel’s violent explosion.
Meanwhile, Hanel’s appeal of Daniel’s restraining order is pending, and “we’re confident we’re gonna win,” Hayakawa said.