Hawaiʻi Island police are asking the public for any information about a large fight and the discharge of a firearm Sunday afternoon (June 28) at the Pohoiki boat ramp in Puna.
Responded to a 4:10 p.m. call reporting that an estimated 40 persons were involved in a fight and that a gunshot was heard, police discovered a 33-year-old man with injuries to his face and body consistent with an assault. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center and later reported to be in stable condition. A 15-year-old boy at the scene reported being punched and choked but declined treatment.
Officers conducting checks of the surrounding area located a semi-automatic pistol in the bush area, which matched the description of the firearm reportedly discharged into the air.
Police were called back to the boat ramp later that afternoon to another report of an affray and observed several individuals involved in a verbal argument. They arrested 32-year-old Junior Santiago of Keaʻau on an outstanding bench warrant.
Police have identified a suspect in the discharge of the firearm and are continuing the investigation into that incident as a reckless endangering case. They have also initiated assault cases and additional related cases. They ask anyone who witnessed Sunday’s events or who is able to provide information to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Officer Brian Souki at 965-2716.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.
In response to the events Sunday, police will display a more visible presence in the area and will step up enforcement efforts.