Kurtistown man accused of stealing boat, assaulting officer

  • SERGIUS JARDINE

A 40-year-old Kurtistown man is accused of stealing a boat and injuring a police officer.

A Hilo grand jury on Wednesday indicted Sergius O. Jardine on charges of first-degree theft, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, first-degree assault of a police officer, resisting arrest by force and fourth-degree property damage.

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According to a court document filed by police, Suzanne Sanxter reported her boat stolen at about 4 p.m. Sept. 20 from Wailoa Small Boat Harbor in Hilo. Officers reportedly saw Jardine piloting the boat back to a slip in the harbor about 3 1/2 hours later.

One of the officers, Melvin R. Vargas, reportedly identified himself to Jardine and told him he was under arrest for theft and two warrants for contempt of court. Jardine then allegedly started running toward Manono Street, with Vargas and officer Alric Dalere in pursuit.

As officers gained on Jardine, he “stopped, turned around and squared off into a boxer’s stance,” the document states.

Jardine allegedly pushed Vargas and wrestled with Dalere, and both Jardine and Dalere fell to the ground. The officers then gained control and handcuffed Jardine, according to the document.

Dalere complained of pain and swelling in his right foot and was taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment, the document states.

According to the indictment, the boat’s value is in excess of $20,000, and the boat belongs to Sanxter and John Flaherty.

First-degree theft is a Class A felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment upon conviction. Unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and first-degree assault of a police officer are Class C felonies carrying possible five-year prison terms. Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor, and fourth-degree property damage is a petty misdemeanor.

A check of court records showed Jardine has no prior felony convictions.

Jardine is the second individual who allegedly boarded someone else’s boat without authorization in a Big Island harbor in September.

Bhajan Manu “BJ” Morris is accused of boarding and vandalizing a vessel Sept. 10 while it remained moored in Kailua Bay in Kona.

Morris allegedly swam out to, boarded without authorization and vandalized Body Glove Cruises’ Kanoa II, causing more than $5,100 in damage and missing items.

Morris faces charges of second-degree theft, fourth-degree criminal damage and making a false statement to authorities in connection with the incident.

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According to court records, Morris has been found unfit to proceed. He has a review hearing scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 24 before Kona Circuit Judge Melvin Fujino.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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