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Puna Man Accused of Burglary, Assault at Automotive Repair Shop

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A Puna man is facing various charges after entering an automotive repair shop on Monday morning in Pāhoa and assaulting the owner and attempting to steal a car.

Jeremiah Hepp

Eighteen-year-old Jeremiah Hepp, who was wanted on an outstanding warrant of arrest for another felony matter, was charged with second-degree burglary, first-degree attempted unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, third-degree assault, second-degree assault, first-degree terroristic threatening, second-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and resisting arrest.

According to court documents, Hepp entered the business at 7:34 a.m. and soon encountered the owner. Hepp was told multiple times to leave but didnʻt comply. At one point, the probable cause statement alleges Hepp yelled at the reported victim “I am Jesus” and struck him multiple times with two closed fists.

Following the reported attack, Hepp got into a vehicle in the garage and attempted to start it but was stopped by the business owner.

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The suspect eventually got out of the vehicle. Court documents indicate Hepp attempted to assault the man again before getting into the victim’s vehicle and locking himself inside.

Hepp appeared in Hilo District Court on Tuesday afternoon. The Court denied Hepp’s request for a bail reduction. His bail was maintained at $43,000 and he was ordered to appear for a preliminary hearing on March 24 in Hilo District Court.

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Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
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