New Year’s Crime Wrap Up

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The New Year’s holiday brings with it increased police enforcement to deal with upticks in crime involving DUIs and illegal fireworks.

Hawai‘i Island police offered a synopsis of those primary offenses on Thursday. According to numbers provided by HPD Assistant Chief Robert Wagner, police picked up one motorist for DUI on Tuesday, Dec. 31, and made three DUI arrests on the first day of 2020.

Police logged 98 complaints involving fireworks over the two days. HPD, Veterans Affairs employees and the Hawai‘i Island Humane Society implored Big Island residents to use fireworks legally and appropriately leading into the holiday, as they can create a destructive impact on communities in general, and specifically for people suffering from PTSD and household pets.

As for injuries resulting from New Year’s Eve/Day activities, Wagner said those statistics were not readily available Thursday. However, there was one DUI case wherein a female crashed her vehicle into a guardrail. According to records, it did not appear she was injured in the incident, Wagner said.


A 42-year-old Kamuela woman, Sylvia Elizabeth Ravaglia, was killed in a single-vehicle collision as she walked along the shoulder of Kawaihae Road on New Year’s Day, but police have said they do not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

HPD has charged Jesse Speetjens, the driver of the vehicle that struck Ravaglia, with negligent homicide in the 2nd degree as a result of the incident.


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