Puna Man Charged in Connection With Alleged ATV Robbery
A Big Island man faces charges in connection with an incident earlier this month involving the alleged robbery of an all-terrain vehicle.
Hawai‘i County Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen announced Wednesday, Sept. 7, that the charges against 30-year-old Anthony Mercer of Puna stem from a Sept. 2 incident in a remote fishing area about 1 mile off Government Beach Road in Puna. Mercer allegedly took an ATV after brandishing what was thought to be a firearm, which was later determined to be a piece of metal wrapped in his boxer briefs.
Mercer was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle. First-degree robbery is a Class A felony that carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. He also was arrested for an unrelated outstanding Circuit Court warrant.
Mercer made his initial appearance Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 6, in Hilo District Court. The court maintained Mercer’s bail at $60,000 and ordered him to return Wednesday, Sept. 7, for his preliminary hearing.
The investigation was led by Officer Onan Masaoka of the Hawai‘i Police Department’s Puna Patrol and assisted by other Puna Patrol officers and members of HPD’s Area I Special Enforcement Unit. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Lee.