A 48-year-old man has been charged with first-degree arson related to the Sunday fire that destroyed hundreds of surfboards in Waikiki that were stored next to a Honolulu Police Department substation.
Glenn A. Helton was arrested and is being held on a $70,000 bail. First-degree arson is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
“Arson is one of the most dangerous crimes and sows fear throughout the community,” said Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm in a statement. “The surfboards that were stored in those racks meant so much to many members of the surfing community and we will vigorously prosecute Helton for the harm that he allegedly caused.”
It’s the second time in less than two years that the surfboard racks were destroyed by an intentionally set fire. They were also destroyed in February 2020.
Just after the Honolulu Fire Department put out the two-alarm fire on Sunday morning, police arrested a 43-year-old man near the scene. HPD released the man that night and arrested a 48-year-old man Tuesday morning.
Sunday’s fire resulted in an estimated $650,000 in damages, including $100,000 to the surf lockers and $300,000 to their contents. The fire also caused about $250,000 in damages to adjacent buildings, which include the Waikiki Beachside Bistro and Moana Surfrider hotel.