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Video Exonerates Former ‘Zip-Tie’ Suspect

July 13, 2020, 11:21 AM HST
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Angelo Valentino will not face charges after a purported “zip-tie” incident in the parking lot of the Hilo Home Depot on July 7, 2020.

Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth announced Monday that the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney will be dropping all charges against Valentino.

It had been reported that Valentino broke into the vehicle of a female and assaulted her after it was also reported she’d found a zip-tie on the back of her vehicle. Rumors have circulated online about zip ties on vehicles being used to mark potential victims for sex trafficking on the Big Island.

Based upon the information at the scene, police made the lawful arrest of Valentino, according to the Prosecutor’s Office. However, after reviewing videotapes from both inside and outside the store, which were made available later from Home Depot, it was determined that Valentino arrived at the Home Depot, parked his car, and went directly into the store to go shopping.

After making his purchase, he went straight to his car and started to leave the parking lot, the videos show. However, vehicles had blocked the parking lot exits. On the videos, it can be seen that Valentino exited his vehicle to see what was going on.

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He approached the female’s vehicle, which was parked in the middle of the road blocking the exit, and looked into the car to see if anyone was inside the vehicle. After knocking on the vehicle’s driver’s side window, he opened the door to look inside the vehicle and stepped away from the car. At this time, it appeared from the video that Valentino was attacked from behind, after which he can be seen defending himself. Valentino was then tackled by a male party.

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According to Home Depot security, at the time Valentino was approaching the female’s car, people in the area were talking about an alleged active shooter. Given the circumstances, it appears that Valentino was trying to determine if he could assist others to leave the area safely rather than steal the vehicle or anything inside since an unoccupied vehicle was blocking the exit, the Prosecutor’s Office said. Neither the police nor the store security witnessed any zip ties on the female’s vehicle.

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