Four Men Cited for Entering Closed Trail
VIDEO: Mānoa Falls Trail closure, Sept. 23, 2018. VC: DLNR
Over the course of eight hours on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, officers from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) contacted and educated more than 100 people concerning the current Mānoa Falls Trail closure.
At 1:45 p.m., three men were cited by DOCARE officers for entering the closed trail. Officers reported seeing the suspects going under clearly visible yellow “police” tape and past numerous closed signs. They allegedly attempted to flee when approached by the DOCARE officers.
Cited were 35-year-old Vasily Shedalin from Russia, 31-year-old Martin Bessner from Denmark and 33-year-old Richard Peschke from Germany.
Then at 3 p.m. another man was also spotted trying to duck under the police tape. He is identified as 42-year-old Shibo Ou of China.
“You put your own life at risk and those of emergency first responders,” DOCARE Chief Robert Farrell reminded anyone thinking about entering a closed area. “Rockfalls aren’t on a clock. They strike with no warning and it’s pretty insensitive of people not to consider the danger they put their potential rescuers in.”
The popular Mānoa Falls Trail was closed late Friday after a rock slide came straight down an unsanctioned social trail that led to the closed second pool Mānoa Falls. The debris covered the nearby Aihualama Trail which is now also closed. A day earlier, a team from the Nā Ala Hele Trails and Access Program had been standing at the exact same spot.
“People really need to take these closures seriously,”Aaron Lowe of Nā Ala Hele said. “Lives have been lost in the past when people enter into areas that were closed for the sole purpose of protecting them.”
Monday, Sept. 24, Nā Ala Hele crews will place three additional closure signs along the road leading to the trailhead.
State specialists and a private engineering firm are expected to begin the process of assessing the rock slide and future hazards on Monday as well. The recommendations from these experts will figure greatly in the decision of when to reopen the Mānoa Falls and Aihualama trails.