BRIEF: Police Seek Punaluu Assault Suspect
Big Island police are looking for a man who allegedly assaulted a tourist taking pictures of turtles last month at Punaluu’s black sand beach.
Police said the suspect confronted the 29-year-old man from Meadow Lake, Oregon on Jan. 12 and told him to stay away from the turtles. The suspect then punched the man in the left eye, took his camera away and wrestled him to the ground.
As the two men struggled, the victim’s girlfriend retrieved the camera and, after the pair was separated by bystanders, took a picture of the suspect.
Hawaiian green sea turtles, a threatened species, frequently come ashore at the popular Ka‘u beach to bask on the sand. People visiting the beach are asked to not disturb the animals but taking photographs is allowed.
Anyone with information on the matter is asked to call Officer James Lorenzo at 939-2520 or the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 935-3311.