East Hawaii News

Police seek suspects in assault and robbery near homeless camp off Ponahawai Street in Hilo

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Big Island police are seeking information about a July 9 robbery that happened near the Hawai‘i County homeless camp off Ponahawai Street and the lower parking lot of HouseMart Ben Franklin Crafts in Hilo.

South Hilo patrol officers responded just before 3 p.m. Tuesday to a church in the 500 block of Ponahawai Street after two men working as survey contractors for the county reported being assaulted.

The men said that just prior to calling police, they were conducting drone surveying of the homeless camp when 6 men who looked to be homeless began walking toward them.

The victims reported that the men seemed unhappy, so they began loading their equipment into their vehicle in an attempt to leave and avoid confrontation.


As the victims attempted to drive off, they were stopped by the men they were stopped by the men who questioned the victims as to what they were doing in the area.

After the victims informed the men of who they were and the job they were hired to do, two suspects began assaulting the victims while they were seated in their vehicle.

The victims received injuries to their faces, with one victim receiving a chipped tooth.


One of the suspects reached into the vehicle and took the driver’s license and drone pilot license belonging to one of the victims. The two victims then drove off to avoid being further assaulted.

The first suspect is described as a local man of Asian/Pacific Islander descent with a tan complexion, about 6 feet tall, possibly bald, bareback, wearing board shorts and sunglasses, with tattoos on his arms, stomach and chest.

The second suspect is described as a local man with a tan complexion, tall, about 200-plus pounds, wearing a gray shirt, with short hair.


Police continue to investigate. They are checking businesses for video surveillance and canvassing the downtown Hilo area for any witnesses who might be able to identify the suspects.

Anyone with information relative to this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Jeremy Kubojiri at 808-961-2378 or via email at jeremy.kubojiri@hawaiicounty.gov.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300.

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments