Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Pāhoa Man Charged With Robbing Grocery Store, Threatens Employees With Coronavirus

April 27, 2020, 11:24 AM HST
* Updated April 27, 11:39 AM
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Mark Blankley. PC: HPD

Hawaʻi Island Police have arrested and charged a Pāhoa man with several offenses after he attempted to steal food from a grocery store there.

Officers took Mark Blankley, 37, injured four store employees with a shopping cart during the incident and proceeded to cough and spit in their faces while telling them that he had the coronavirus, police said. After arrest, officers found contraband on his person.

Police arrested Blankley on charges of Robbery 1, Terroristic Threatening 1, Place to Keep Ammunition, Theft 4 and Promotion of a Detrimental Drug 3.

Since this incident occurred during the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation, the Robbery offense was enhanced to a class A felony.

Blankley was subsequently charged for all offenses, and bail has been set at $31,500. He is presently at the Hilo Police Station Cellblock, awaiting the next court appearance, police said.

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A class A felony is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

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