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Bail Maintained for Hilo Man Accused of Assault, Kidnapping

June 14, 2022, 5:22 PM HST
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Curtis Nihipali

A Hilo District Court judge maintained bail on a Hilo man accused of assault, kidnapping and various other offenses.

Thirty-six-year-old Curtis Nihipali appeared before District Court Judge Jeffrey Hawk Tuesday, June 14, via video from the Hilo police cellblock on charges of two counts of second-degree assault, kidnapping, first-degree reckless endangering, first-degree terroristic threatening, ownership or possession of firearm prohibited, ownership or possession of ammunition prohibited, carrying or use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony, and third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug.

Charges stem from an incident that occurred on June 12 in the area of the Kapoho Kumukahi Lighthouse Road in Pahoa.

According to Hawaii police, Nihipali threatened a 43-year-old man while armed with a firearm, and intentionally discharged the firearm near the victim.

“Nihipali then forced the victim at gunpoint to a remote location near the initial scene, and physically assaulted the victim,” HPD stated in a release Tuesday. “The victim was then able to flee the area on foot and contact police.”

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Searching the area, Puna patrol officers located Nihipali hiding in the vicinity and placed him under arrest. The victim was transported to the Hilo Medical Center for treatment for non-life threatening injuries and later released.

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Nihipali, who has three prior felony convictions for second-degree robbery, was held on $191,000 bail. During Tuesday’s hearing, defense asked the court the 36-year-old be granted supervised release or a reduction in bail. According to court minutes, both motions were denied.

The most serious offense, carrying or use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony, is a class A felony punishably by a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The second most serious offenses, kidnapping and ownership or possession of firearm and ammunition prohibited, are both class B felony offenses punishable by a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Nihipali was ordered to appear in court on June 16 for a preliminary hearing.

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