East Hawaii News

Puna Man Charged With Assault in Domestic Dispute

December 5, 2012, 2:26 PM HST
* Updated December 6, 9:53 AM
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***Updated at 3:30 p.m. to correct charges filed.***

A 45-year-old Pahoa man arrested on suspicion of setting fire to his house following a domestic dispute Sunday night has been charged with assault.

Peter Lopes was arrested about eight hours after the fire destroyed the Hawaiian Beaches house in which he lived.

Police on Tuesday also charged Lopes with burglary and terroristic threatening.

While Lopes was arrested Monday on suspicion of arson, he has not been charged with that offense, as was incorrectly stated in an earlier report.

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Police said prosecutors so far have declined to charge Lopes with arson or for promotion of a detrimental drug, for which he was also arrested on Monday.

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Bail for Lopes was set at $37,000.

Lopes’ arrest came after police learned that he and the home’s other occupant, a 41-year-old woman, had become involved in a domestic dispute prior to the fire. During the dispute Lopes allegedly threatened to set fire to the house, police said.

Police said both left the home prior to the fire.

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It is not clear whether Lopes may have been renting the home. County property tax records show a different name for the owner.

Police located Lopes at a nearby home with a head injury unrelated to the fire. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment and detained after his discharge from the hospital.

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